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All in the family

The Tom Johnson family gathered to celebrate a land conservation easement established with the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust. In front, from left to right, the Johnson clan includes daughters Deanna, Cindy, Peggy and Melanie; and in back is the family's patriarch Tom Johnson with sons Sam, Matt, Peter and Pat. One son, Tom, is not pictured. Submitted photo

Town of River Falls resident Tom Johnson and his family have decided to permanently protect 127-acres of their farm through the sale of the land's development rights to the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust through a conservation easement.

The family sold the rights to ever develop the land and will retain all other rights of private property ownership including the right to control access across their land.

"I protected my land with KRLT because my family and I wanted to keep our farmland and the Kinni River just as I remembered it all my life, said Johnson. "By protecting our land, my kids and grandkids can know it just as I did.

The KRLT received a grant from The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund to pay for the easement.

The Kinnickinnic flows through the southern part of Johnson's rural farm as does Mann Valley Creek. In addition to the waterways, this project also protects prime agricultural soils, river bluffs, coulees, rare and threatened plant species, and diverse plant and animal habitats.

For more information about the easement or the KRLT, call 425.5738 or go to