Big Award for Conservancies

Kehl Lake ... sunset 9-26-12
Kehl Lake … sunset 9-26-12 by Ken Scott

The TC Ticker reports that Sunday night in Salt Lake City, northern Michigan took center stage as Glen Chown and Brian Price, executive directors of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) and The Leelanau Conservancy were jointly awarded the top award from the Land Trust Alliance, the first time a pair of organizations have shared the award:

“We’re innovators in the way we work with land preservation … and both organizations recognize that the economy is tied to the natural assets of the region,” Price says.

And ultimately, their collaboration – particularly with farmland – comes down to one simple truth: “If you protect farmland, you continue opportunities to invest in long-term agriculture,” says Chown.

He explains it this way: Say you’re the owner of a dried cherry plant. Won’t you feel a lot better about a $10 million investment that will require 10,000 acres of cherry trees if you know that fruit acreage is protected?

Also, consider this: Across the GTRLC and Leelanau Conservancy’s coverage area, agriculture contributes as much as $97.7 million annually to the local economy in the form of agricultural products sold. It employs more than 2,000 farm proprietors with net farm earnings of $6.6 million and more than 3,000 workers with a total payroll of $12.8 million.

Congratulations to both on the preservation of over 40,000 acres in northern Michigan!