"The Land is Something That Lasts"

Completion of Rye Conservation Easement

Some people may be surprised to learn that wilderness still exists in southern Michigan, but Rye Eggerstedt knows this firsthand and is taking action to protect it.

Rye and members of his family worked with Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy last year to place a conservation easement (CE) on 203 acres of wild wetland in northern Calhoun County. This fall, Rye placed another easement on the adjacent 80 acres, forever protecting nearly 300 acres of natural, high-quality habitat on the combined properties. His forward-thinking action has a positive ripple effect that will travel downstream far into the future.

With the completion of Rye CE, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy is successfully closing out a grant issued by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy – a “319” grant that is part of the Federal Clean Water Act. This grant provides funding for projects that improve water quality for the long term. With the pristine headwaters of both Ellis and Wanadoga Creeks (tributaries of the Battle Creek River, which feeds the Kalamazoo River, and eventually reaches Lake Michigan) protected by these combined CE’s, this project will have a big impact on people and wildlife for hundreds of river miles.

Rye Conservation Easement, Calhoun Co., MI. Photo by Hilary Hunt.

Home to otters and badgers, sandhill cranes and nesting bald eagles, Rye CE protects pockets of high quality, maturing, oak forest uplands that transition down into wet woodlands that hold vernal pools in spring. It also protects part of an unnamed creek that flows through a broad wetland to Wanadoga Creek.

Location of Rye Conservation Easement and other protected properties. Mao by Bruce Howe.

When asked why he cares so much, Rye explains,

“It will be here longer than anyone living here. The land is something that lasts.”

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy heartily wishes to thank Rye Eggerstedt (and his family) for their firm commitment to conservation.
Wetlands at Rye Conservation Easement, Calhoun Co., MI. Photo by Hilary Hunt.

Are you (or someone you know) curious about land protection options? Please call our office at 269-324-1600 for a confidential conversation with one of our land protection specialists: Bruce Howe, Hilary Hunt, or Emily Wilke. Click here for general information about land protection options for landowners.