project never ends
Most restored sites exist in areas surrounded by huge amounts
of disturbed land. Whether the nearby land is rural or urban,
it will be rife with exotic plants that have the potential
to invade and degrade the restoration. If the restoration
work is not to be wasted, provision must be made for long-term
maintenance. Such maintenance should not require as much expense
as the original restoration, but will still be significant.
Provision must be made for:
- Funding long-term maintenance
- Arranging that the maintenance be carried out, either
by a paid contractor or an unpaid volunteer group.
Pleasant Valley Conservancy is permanently protected. It
is owned in part by The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) and in part
by Tom and Kathie Brock and TPE holds a conservation easement
on the Brock portion of the Conservancy. Pleasant Valley Conservancy
is a dedicated State Natural Area (number 551), and a conservation
easement to this effect is held by the Wisconsin Department
of Natural Resources.
In addition, a nonprofit foundation has been set up to ensure
long-term funding. Savanna Oak Foundation, Inc. is a tax-exempt
(501-c-3) organization that is able to receive tax-free funds
from donors. It was initially funded by Kathie and Tom Brock.
These funds can be used to hire contractors to conduct prescribed
burns, control invasive shrubs and weeds, maintain trails
and interior roads, or carry out many other maintenance activities.
Pleasant Valley Conservancy is a preserve of The Prairie
Enthusiasts, a membership organization with chapters throughout
the upper Midwest. Oversight of Pleasant Valley Conservancy
is by a site manager appointed by TPE, and this site manager
is charged with dealing with the various maintenance problems
that may arise.
Pleasant Valley Conservancy is open to the public for hiking
and nature study. It is hoped that people who visit the Conservancy
frequently and come to know it well will be interested in
seeing that it is well maintained. It seems evident that the
best way to ensure long-term oversight is through public input
There is no "forever" in the world or in life,
but with sufficient safeguards, the Conservancy may exist