Southern Belmont County
ENTERED CONSERVATION EASEMENT: 2014
Raven Rocks is located in Belmont County's Wayne Township, within Ohio's Appalachian Plateau. The property is a magnificent area with natural, historical and archeological significance. The series of ravines, sandstone cliffs, extensive rock overhangs, and miniature waterfalls is unusual in the eastern Ohio hills. In 2014, Raven Rocks was placed into a conservation easement with the support of the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program, making it the largest natural area conservation easement in Ohio history at that time.
CALDWELL-BROWN LEGACY FARM, HOMESTEADED 1818
ENTERED CONSERVATION EASEMENT: 2019
Neal and Barb Caldwell knew their Belmont County farm had been in the family for a long time, but it wasn’t until they started doing the research that they discovered it’s actually been owned by family members for over 200 years. In fact, it was in 1818 that President James Monroe signed a land patent to Neal’s great-great-great-great grandpa, Abel Brown, who bought the original 80-acre parcel as a gift for his son to start a new life in this beautiful stretch of eastern Ohio. The farm changed hands over the years, sometimes being sold and sometimes deeded over “for love and affection,” but always passing from one family member to another.
Neal’s father, Charles Caldwell, inherited the farm in 1951 and added over 200 more acres. The Caldwell family over the many years milked dairy cows, farmed crops, and hunted and trapped in the extensive mature woodlands.
Because of the rich history of the property, and the high ecological value of the forest and woodlands, Neal and Barb decided to permanently preserve the farm through a conservation easement with Captina Conservancy. The conservation easement is an agreement that runs with the property, and so will be in place for all owners into the future. The Caldwells’ conservation easement ensures the farm cannot be divided or extensively developed, and forest management is under strict guidelines of the USDA/Forestry/ODNR and Ohio Forestry Program as well as prohibiting clear-cutting trees.
“Clearly putting the property under the protection of a conservation easement is the best option we currently have to pass it on to future generations as a priceless natural resource,” Caldwell said.
The farm is certified as a Bicentennial Ohio Historic Family Farm by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in honor of the more than 200 years their family has been part of the state’s farming community.