One year after the 1,050-acre conservation easement was finalized, this agricultural land continues to produce a connection to its community.
Tucked away in the scenic Ogden Valley, rows of pumpkins dot the 30 acres of Saint Stephen’s Field, named by the Trappist monks who farmed the land for more than 75 years. It’s a history now preserved across 1,050 acres thanks to an $8.8 million conservation easement secured through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
“It is a true honor to have been a part of protecting this agricultural land,” shared Emily Fife, NRCS State Conservationist for Utah, “Together, we are protecting open space and land that provides agricultural production, historic preservation, and wildlife habitat.”
The Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1947 by 32 monks, with many having served in World War II. The monastery produced food for its farmers, ranchers, and beekeepers, and sold products and produce in the Abbey’s bookshop. Fresh baked bread, jams, and most famously their creamed honey became a regular draw for visitors. The decision to close the Abbey came in 2017, with the elderly monks unable to continue its operation.
The Huntsville Monastery easement was completed in 2022 through the efforts of landowners Bill White and Wynstonn Wangsgard, the Summit Land Conservancy, Ogden Valley Land Trust, NRCS, and area donors.
“So many people have memories of visiting the monastery over the years, and we hear over and over again how grateful they are that this place is preserved forever,” said Cheryl Fox, chief executive officer for the Summit Land Conservancy.
> Read the full article on the USDA site