Pine Ridge (Hartley)
Property Location:Omemee, Ontario
Donor:Bob and Mary Hartley
December 2018 – KLT has developed a Conservation Easement Agreement (CEA) with Bob and Mary Hartley to protect Pine Ridge, a very special 44 acre property that sits along the Hogsback Esker (Omemee Esker) just west of the Pigeon River.
The Hartleys have owned this remarkable property for 37 years. The forest contains some trees that are estimated to be up to 215 years old!
Pine Ridge sits at a pinch point along a north-south wildlife corridor. A critical pathway in an otherwise fragmented landscape. Many species at risk are found in this area and benefit from this property’s connection to surrounding natural areas, and a county protected forest.
The property is covered by forest and contains vegetation types that are underrepresented locally. It contains musclewood trees, an uncommon discovery as this species does not usually live this far north. It is likely that the area’s sheltered valleys have created a microclimate in which these trees were able to survive.
There is a small man-made pond on the property, as well as a small abandoned agricultural pasture and a residence with a small barn. The land was used as a hobby cattle farm in the past and has been home to a small maple syrup business.
A special feature of this property is the eskar ridge of stratified sand and gravel. The eskar the property sits on is 16-19 km long, and the Hartleys did not want anyone to buy the property in order to develop gravel pits—a possibility if it is sold without protection. Bob Hartley says he and his wife decided to protect the property through a CEA with the KLT because it was the only way to provide long-term protection.
The CEA allows them to protect the natural conservation values while continuing to retain private ownership of the land.
“This property is beautiful and has all kinds of unique features,” Mr. Hartley said. “I enjoy it every day when I walk it with my dog and when I jog through it three times a week.”