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Preserving the Landscape For All Time

April 25, 2011

VERMILLION, S.D. - A 143-acre parcel of land in the Missouri River Valley in Clay County, S.D., will be preserved through a perpetual conservation easement. Jerry and Norma Wilson are donating the easement on land that includes the historic Severson Cabin, which is recorded on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest existing cabin in the county. The easement will be maintained by the Northern Prairies Land Trust.

Trust president John Davidson says it's a significant donation "because of the importance of the natural resources that will be preserved, first of all. And second of all, because it protects an important historic site. And third, it does this in an area that's under substantial development pressure."

Davidson says the well-cared-for land is currently in good condition and in a great location.

"It's a prime piece of real estate in terms of natural resources: water, native woodlands, native prairie, interesting landscape, vistas of the Missouri River Valley. It's quite significant."

Ownership of the land will remain with the Wilson family, but future development will be sharply limited. Davidson says while the property is not open to the public, the family in the past has allowed individuals and groups to access the area and the cabin.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD