Corlew Family Protects 24 Acres of Pasture and Forestland with The Land Trust for Tennessee


With the importance of conserving natural spaces in Tennessee in mind, Ray Corlew and his family recently worked with The Land Trust for Tennessee on a conservation easement to protect their property in Sumner County. The agreement permanently protects their 24-acres of prime farmland and deciduous forest in a rapidly developing area near Gallatin, Tennessee.

Corlew noted that the recent rise in development in the area had given him a greater sense of urgency to protect agricultural and natural space.

“Lately I’ve been looking out of the kitchen window and noticing some dying trees back there. And you know, they’ve started to attract woodpeckers. I’d take those woodpeckers over a bunch of fancy cars any day,” said Corlew.

The Corlew property is in a part of Tennessee characterized by rolling hills and forested bands of land, as well as agricultural production. Cottontown is distinct from much of Sumner County due to its location along the Northern Highland Rim – there are more pronounced elevation changes and sections of forested property in this area of the county. This particular property includes both flat agricultural fields and sloped forested areas.

To achieve the family’s goals of protecting their land, Corlew and The Land Trust for Tennessee closed on a legal agreement called a conservation easement to limit future development of the land. The agreement protects the agricultural and scenic attributes of the property, while also allowing Corlew to continue to own, manage, and sell or pass the property to heirs in the future.

Towards the entrance of the property are nine acres of pastureland currently used for hay production. According to Corlew, the soil in the agricultural portion of his family’s property has not been tilled since World War II, making it particularly healthy.

“We feel so fortunate to work with landowners who see the value in protecting their agricultural and scenic land. Mr. Corlew has truly given a gift to this part of Tennessee, and we are honored to be a part of that commitment,” said Emily Parish, Vice President at The Land Trust for Tennessee.


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