Land Conservation Success Near Staunton State Park

Photo of Lions Head peak from Phelps Conservation Easement

Land Conservation Success Near Staunton State Park

Photo of Lynn Caligiuri, Carol Phelps and Christine Strickland.

MALT Executive Director Lynn Caligiuri (left), Carol Phelps (middle) and Land and Water Conservation Director Christine Strickland (right) pose after the completion of the Phelps Conservation Easement.

Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT) is pleased to announce a new private voluntary Conservation Easement adjacent to the southern boundary of Staunton State Park.

This beautiful property has views of “Lion’s Head,” the highest peak at the park and a popular hiking destination. Elk Creek runs through the property year-round, offering significant wildlife habitat, water access and outstanding biodiversity.

This unique natural area includes wildlife habitat for elk, mule deer, moose, the southern red-backed vole, pygmy shrew, snowshoe hare, white-tailed jackrabbit, Abert’s squirrel and lynx, among many others. Ponderosa pines are plentiful on the upper part of the land, with firs, spruces and unusual rock formations along the creek.

The owner, Carol Phelps, and her late husband Bob have owned the 12-acre property for more than three decades and treasure the natural beauty of the area.

Carol shares, “I have such a special property, and it is in a vulnerable place. I really wanted to have all the animals, the plants, the fishes and all the other living things, and all the spirits that went before, to know that this land is preserved and protected forever. My late husband Bob would have wished for this with all his heart.”

“MALT is honored to work with Carol to honor the legacy of her husband Bob, and their passion for conserving the beautiful property that they have been stewarding for over a generation,” says MALT Executive Director Lynn Caligiuri.

To learn more about the Conservation Easement process and MALT’s work, visit