As a part of estate planning, Bill Cohron’s son Travis suggested that a conservation easement might be the best way to protect their 314-acre farm in southeast Jefferson County. The land backs up against the Splinter Ridge Wildlife Management Area, and the Cohrons use it as a recreation and hunting retreat for family and friends. Today, Oak Heritage Conservancy holds an easement on the land. The property is not open to the public, but it is protected for the public good – for scenic views along the Ohio River; for wildlife; for carbon sequestration – forever.
The following is quoted from a letter from Travis:
“Again, I cannot express how happy and grateful I am for your assistance through all of this. The work of people like you gives me great hope for what the future may hold for my daughters! I have attached a brief letter providing some background information about the property, and the purpose it has served. I hope it is of some assistance. If it is not, I blame my father for his vagueness and reluctance to take any credit. Nevertheless, if it is used and an article is written describing the now conserved area all I ask is it properly address the role he has played. As you may have noticed he is a very humble man with no interest in notoriety, but it was his decision alone to pursue this path. My grandfather simply provided the location and I the idea.
Harrel became fond of Switzerland and Jefferson County during camping trips with his family. The area always reminded him of his childhood home of Little Muddy in Butler County, Kentucky. An avid outdoorsman, he was especially drawn to the abundance of wildlife and scenic hills. The ‘Farm’ was purchased from Henry and Loan Shimfissel for hunting and recreational use. However, its most important function became as an idyllic setting for gathering with close family and friends. The preservation of the property serves to protect the memories of these gatherings, not just for the abundant fauna and flora it contains. The family hopes its preservation will permit future generations to create their own memories while developing an appreciation of nature’s unique beauty.”
The Cohrons will continue to use the farm as they have. They gave up the right to build a house on the ridge overlooking the Ohio River, the right to sell off pieces of the farm and many other rights to develop the land. In doing so, the Cohrons have protected this place in perpetuity.
— Based on an article by John Miller in the 2012 Oak Heritage Conservancy newsletter