ARBOVALE, W.Va. -- A 384-acre tract of farmland bordered by the Monongahela National Forest and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank has been protected in perpetuity through a conservation easement negotiated with the West Virginia Land Trust.The Pocahontas County tract, located in the Deer Creek Valley, is part of the Hevener Farm, and has been managed by members of the Hevener family since 1851.
The easement allows the Heavener family to continue the family tradition of farming the land for generations to come, while protecting the tract from certain types of future development."Our great-grandfather Uriah Hevener settled here before the Civil War," Bill Hevener, co-owner of the farm, said in a news release. "Our father, Howard, who would have been 100 this year, lived and worked the farm all his life. The farm has remained the same for as long as I can remember and we are proud that with the help and support of the West Virginia Land Trust it will remain this way forever.""A conservation easement is a huge step for many owners who are debating how to handle the future of their land," said Brent Bailey, the land trust's executive director. "We spent many months working with Bill and his sister Patsy Cummings, the farm's co-owner, in developing an easement document that really reflected their vision and our desire to ensure that Deer Creek, the scenic view shed, and the agricultural nature of the property remain unspoiled for years to come."