Calendar of Events

Sept. 8-10

WWC Booth at Harvest Home Fair

WWC at the Junction Trailfest, Milford

Sept. 16 Delhi Floral Paradise Garden Opening Event

Sept. 17, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Fall Foliage Ohio River Paddle, co-sponsored by WWC

Sept. 23, 7 p.m. “Whooo’s Watching Whooo?” Night Hike Great Outdoor Weekend event

Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. WWC Board Meeting

Oct. 12-15 Land Trust Alliance Rally, Nashville, TN

Oct. 21, 2 p.m. Delshire Preserve Fall Foliage Hike

Oct. 29, 12:30 p.m. Fall Foliage & Ohio River View Hike, Bender Forest

Nov. 4, 9 a.m. Bender Forest Hike & Restoration

Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m. WWC Holiday Party & Brief Board Meeting



We Need Help! Identifying Property Protection Opportunities Three years ago we were able to protect a beautiful area of forested hillside because of a “tip” passed along by one of our members. He knew the property owner and thought we should give her a call about protecting her property. Well, as they say, the rest is history; Mrs. Elsie Beekley gave a Conservation Easement on her property to Western Wildlife Corridor, thus protecting a beautiful forested hillside overlooking the Rapid Run Creek valley. 

This only happened because of a personal contact who was able to arrange a meeting between WWC and the property owner. This is the best way to identify possible opportunities to protect property in our corridor. 

If you personally know anyone who owns greenspace in our corridor, please let us know. Give us a call at 513 921 9453. We’ll be happy to follow up and arrange a meeting with the property owner to explain who Western Wildlife Corridor is and to describe to them the benefits of working with us to protect their property as greenspace. 

There are several factors that make this an especially propitious time for reaching out to property owners. First, we have hired an expert to develop a rating scheme for properties in our corridor. Very soon we will have a map showing all properties in the Western Wildlife Corridor and giving an overall rating for most of them. A high rating indicates property that we should focus our protection efforts on. 

Secondly, we have wonderful new promotional materials developed for us by a PR professional working with an artist. These describe property protection benefits in a very understandable way – how could anyone resist! 

And, last but not least, the Federal Government has changed the regulations regarding tax benefits for Conservation Easement donations. It is important to note that these new regulations only apply to easements donated in 2006 and 2007. It is now more beneficial than ever for an individual to donate a Conservation Easement to an organization like WWC.

So, now is the time to act. Please help us out by telling us about anyone you know of who may want to work with Western Wildlife Corridor to protect their property. Again, that number is 513 921 9453. 


 Western Wildlife Corridor Board of Trustees

Tim Sisson, President

Bruce Cortwright, Vice President

Robert Thomas, Treasurer

Leesa Miller, Secretary

Marianne Brater

Susan Frede

Joan Gillespie

John Klein

Bob Nienaber

Don Patrick

Jim Schenk

Rebecca Sisson


 Land Trust Alliance Update

A Victory for Land Conservation

On August 3, 2006 the Congress approved a tremendous expansion of the federal conservation tax incentive for conservation easement donations. Conservation easements are one tool that land trusts like WWC, use to protect land for future generations. On August 17, the President signed it into law. This is a great victory for conservation!

The new law:

      • Raises the deduction a landowner can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their income in any year to 50%.

      • Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income.

      • Extends the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from 5 to 15 years.

The Land Trust Alliance points out that this only applies to easements donated in 2006 and 2007 and plans to work hard to make this change permanent.

The bill also includes sensible reforms that affect the appraisal process for all donated property and tighten the rules for easements on historic buildings.

A little more than a year ago, the land trust community was working hard to defend against proposals by the Joint Committee on Taxation to end tax incentives for conservation donations.

What an amazing year for land conservation!


Land Trust Accreditation Program

Beginning in 2008, the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) will offer a voluntary accreditation program to member and non-member land trusts. Accreditation will provide enhanced credibility, respect, and confidence from donors, partners, and members. Accreditation will provide a 

guarantee that Land Trust Standards and Practices issued from LTA are being followed. Going through the review process will also help land trusts streamline operations and lead to more effective land conservation. As a current member of LTA, Western Wildlife Corridor complies with the LTA Land Trust Standards and Practices. Accreditation will provide independent review of this compliance and verify WWC implementation of 42 specific practices that indicate our ability to operate in an ethical, legal, and technically sound manner as well as ensure the long-term protection of land in the public interest. LTA is currently working to establish the procedures for accreditation and will test these procedures in 2007 with an initial round of application. LTA will also offer curriculum to help land trusts achieve success in accreditation. 

For more information on land trusts and the accreditation program please visit



Sat. Oct. 21 2 p.m. Delshire Preserve Fall Foliage Hike This easy 1-1 ½ hour hike will trek through one of the large portions of this preserve that are completely free of invasive plants. Meet at Delhi Swim Club - 202 Felicia Drive in Delhi (off Pedretti). Led by Tim Sisson.

Sunday Oct. 29 12:30 p.m. Bender Forest Fall Foliage and Ohio River View Hike We will cross Rapid Run Creek, noting the shale and limestone layers of the creek wall. Then we’ll hike uphill through old growth forest and experience what the forest may have been like in the 1700s, when the first settlers came into the area, looking for traces of old homesites along the way. At the top, there should be enough leaves down for a panoramic view of the Ohio River with plenty of photo opportunities. Sturdy shoes suggested, as the hike is moderate with uphill walking and shallow creek crossing. We will cross the property that was recently turned over to Delhi Parks and Recreation. Meet at pulloff on Bender Rd, six tenths of a mile from River Rd. (not the bus turnaround). Call Leesa Miller 513 941-1628 for information on either of these hikes.

Sat. Sept. 23 7 p.m. Story Woods Park Whooo’s Watching Whooo? Great Outdoor Weekend Event sponsored by WWC, R&R Animal Tracking and Delhi Parks and Recreation WWC is participating again this year in this city-wide weekend of outdoor activities. (Schedule of events booklet available.) The evening will begin with refreshments and snacks. WWC will give a brief overview of land conservation and its value in providing a natural habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species. The hike, led by William Reichling of R&R Animal Tracking, will begin by searching for clues of wildlife. Be prepared for anything as we enter the mysterious nocturnal world of Story Woods Park. Two hike levels will be available; a moderate hike for the more adventurous and an easy hike designed for families. Help is needed with refreshments and WWC booth display. Call Mona Weiner to volunteer, 513 941-6307, or Leesa Miller at 513 941-1628 for more information. Meet at main shelter. Story Woods Park is off Pontius Rd.  

 E V E N T S  

Sept. 17, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fall Foliage Ohio River Paddle Four Seasons Marina at Fernbank Park WWC is co-sponsoring this event organized by Ohio River Way and Ohio River Foundation. Call Brewster Rhoads at 513 324-1678 for more information about the paddling event. Volunteers are needed to help with refreshments and display booth in the afternoon as paddlers pull out of the water at Fernbank. Call Mona Weiner at 513 941-6307 to volunteer. 

Save the Date! Tues. Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m. WWC Holiday Party Announcements will be mailed.


Volunteer events November 4 9 a.m. Bender Woods Hike & Forest Restoration This has been called the “best old growth forest in Hamilton County.” See for yourself why this is true and help us as we remove alien plants to make it even better! Sept. 17, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fall Foliage Ohio River Paddle Four Seasons Marina to Fernbank Park WWC is co-sponsoring this event organized by Ohio River Way and Ohio River Foundation. Volunteers are needed to help with refreshments and display booth in the afternoon as paddlers pull out of the water at Fernbank. Harvest Home Fair Sept 8-10 We will be reaching a large number of people using our new display and materials. What we need most is people who love the WWC area and want others to know about protecting it. That’s the only qualification. Volunteer for one hour, or three, or whatever you can offer. The Junction Trailfest also Sept 8-10 If you happen to go to this first annual celebration of hiking trails in Milford, look for our representative, Alan Weiner, who will be handing out WWC brochures. To volunteer at any of these events, please call Mona Weiner at 513 941-6307  

Paddlefest Booth Was A Success Early in the day, kids from area day camps stopped by to have a red cave salamander stamped on their arm, which they decorated with washable black markers. Later in the day, we had interested adult nature enthusiasts and even some old friends stopped by. Tim Sisson, Beverly Sharp, and Leesa Miller worked the booth, and Leesa’s daughter, Katie helped with the stamps.




Cave Salamanders: Colorful Critters in Small Spaces

By Jerry Lippert, Hub Naturalist at Winton Woods, Hamilton County Park District 

Throughout most of their range, Cave Salamanders are found around the entrances to caves. Hence, their name! However, in Hamilton County, they are not found in caves. The reason for this is simple: There are no caves in Hamilton County! But the lack of caves has not prevented the Cave Salamander from thriving within certain areas here, namely, in what could be called mini-caves. Our local creeks are filled with limestone rocks--some large, some small, sometimes piled on top of each other, often with eroded crevices. The spaces within and between these limestone rocks can be thought of as mini-caves. Cave Salamanders are using this habitat during the warmer months. Some of the spaces they use are only 3/8” high, but may be 6 – 8” wide, or sometimes much wider, especially when one large rock is piled on top of another with space between. Here, they find plenty to eat. Cave Crickets, flies, pillbugs, other insects and arthropods also use the crevices, sometimes ending up in a Cave Salamander’s belly. During colder months, the salamanders retreat to underground spring sites, limestone sinkholes, and other underground rocky retreats which mimic cave habitat. Colorwise, cave salamanders are like a combination of the Bengal tiger and Snow Leopard. They are bright orange with a sprinkling of irregularlyspaced black spots - a striking contrast. Since Cave Salamanders are strikingly colored and are a truly local mascot, why didn’t our local pro football team go with a catchy moniker like the Cincinnati Cave Salamanders instead of the Bengals? At only 7” maximum length, these amphibians aren’t exactly menacing, but they would make a beautiful mascot! Still, Cave Salamanders haven’t worked the public relations game as well as Bengal Tigers and other charismatic megafauna. The big animals get lots of press and make high profile appearances at zoos and Las Vegas shows. Cave Salamanders are more aptly described as charismatic minifauna. They have a captivating appearance, but are tiny compared to a Bengal Tiger and most people don’t even know they exist. In Ohio they are only known from 3 counties: Hamilton, Butler, and Adams. Although considered endangered in Ohio, Cave Salamanders occur in many places in the western half of our county. Thankfully, there is much protected habitat for them within Hamilton County Park District parks and natural areas such as those protected by the Western Wildlife Corridor. Perhaps someday, you’ll be rooting for your veryown Cincinnati Cave Salamanders football team in the Super Bowl!  

Special thanks to Hamilton County Parks for contributing this article, and to Wayne Wauligman for the photo!