Wood-Land-Lakes Resource Conservation and Development, Land Trust

Wood-Land Lakes is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, established in 1994 to address natural resource needs in Northeast Indiana counties.  We are a group of volunteers and staff committed to responsible stewardship of the local community's natural resources.  And since 2000, our primary focus has been helping landowners establish conservation easements for farmland, woodlands, and wetlands.

Wood Land Lakes RC&D specializes in working with owners of operating farms and agriculture landowners to create conservation easements which preserve their farmland and farm businesses. In turn, these permanent easements ensure long term viability of a farm business and permanent protection for the farmland against development. During our process we develop a strong working relation with the landowner to ensure current and future landowners can maintain a profitable farming operation in an ever-changing agriculture industry.  We accomplish this with a Land Trust Committee that is a well-rounded, diverse group of volunteers who understand today's unique farming needs.  The Land Trust currently holds easements on 11,300 acres of farmland in eleven counties in Indiana and accepts inquiries from all counties in Indiana. 

Holding conservation easements for family farms is both an important and long-term responsibility and to ensure our conservation easement policies are always current, we are members of Land Trust Alliance.  

Accepting and holding conservation easements involves ongoing responsibilities for our organization.  One of those important responsibilities is maintaining our ability to defend conservation easements against future development pressure.  Including engaging in litigation if necessary. To ensure Wood-Land- Lakes Land Trust can meet this commitment, the Land Trust maintains a legal defense fund and is one of the founding members of the conservation defense insurance group, TerraFirma. 

Both the Land Trust Alliance organization and Terrafirma assist us in maintaining our ability to defend easements and provide professional assistance in meeting the latest legal requirements for conservation easements.

If you are interested in becoming a member of our team of volunteers, please contact us.

Wood Land Lakes RC&D board of directors

Mike Yoder - Elkhart County - President

Rick Meyer -Noble County - Vice President

Diana Clingan- Steuben County - Treasurer

Brian Campbell- Elkhart County - Secretary

Jeff Conrad - Dekalb County

Bill Schnidt- Steuben County

Bill Hartman - Dekalb County -County Commissioner

Kathy Hopper - Lagrange County - Commissioner appointment

Gary Timmerman - Noble County - County Commissioner

Jon Zirkle - Elkhart County - Executive Director


Straub Farm - Trillium 04