- Ryder Snell
Pang Family Conservation Easement Increases Protection of Mark Twain National Forest
BENTON COUNTY, AR (Feb. 23, 2023) -The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) announced today that 35 acres adjacent to Mark Twain National Forest in Benton County will be protected forever with a conservation easement. The property runs along the Arkansas/Missouri border and serves as a critical wildlife transition zone between the national forest boundary and Highway 62, a major transportation corridor. The conservation easement also protects the water quality of the headwaters of Beaver Creek, a tributary of the White River. The two landowners, Susan and Kei Pang, are dedicated to leaving a land legacy for future generations.
Kei (left) and Susan (right) Pang
The voluntary legal agreement allows the Pangs to continue to own the land and pass it on to their heirs while safeguarding it from being developed in the future. “This land is close to our home and borders the forest. We love watching the changing seasons and how things evolve naturally,” explained Susan Pang. “The main reason we want to protect this land is that humans are only one species and we’ve already taken too much. We want to give something back to all other of God's creations.”
To date, NWALT has permanently protected over 6,500 acres in Northwest Arkansas, including 1,300 acres in Benton County. According to Pam Nelson, NWALT Director of Land Protection, “Population in the region is expected to double by 2045, reaching nearly one million residents. Northwest Arkansas is the fastest-growing region in the central United States and on average, the region loses nine acres of open space each day.”
The addition of this easement along the Mark Twain National Forest means the preservation of an additional and significant variety of plant, animal, bird, reptile, and insect species. Eliminating future development means the water quality of the Beaver Creek headwaters will be protected in perpetuity. “We chose NWALT because they are very dedicated, efficient, patient, and serious about their work. Also being local to Northwest Arkansas meant so much to us,” said Pang.
“When the Land Trust partners with a private landowner on a conservation easement, we are making a promise to ensure the land is protected forever” said Grady Spann, NWALT Executive Director and CEO. “We are so thankful that Susan and Kei Pang have created a land legacy that will protect natural habitats, native wildlife, and water quality in northern Benton County for all the generations to come.”
About Northwest Arkansas Land Trust
The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is the region’s first local and accredited land trust dedicated to enhancing the quality of life through the permanent protection of land. By holding and managing donated land and providing conservation easement services, the Land Trust protects water quality, local farms, wildlife habitats, and places for outdoor recreation while enhancing the quality of life for today and future generations. The service area of the Land Trust includes 13 counties in Northwest Arkansas, with a core focus on Benton, Washington, Madison, and Carroll counties. For more information, visit the land trust’s website at www.nwalandtrust.org.