A Muncie conservancy needs to raise money to save about 60 acres of woodland in southern Madison County.

Red-tail Conservancy wants to buy the property and turn it into a nature preserve.

The problem is, owners of the land want to cut down some of its trees and sell the lumber. Property owners are scheduled to attend a Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on April 22 to get permission to log their land.

However, property owners have agreed to sell the land to the conservancy if it can raise $275,000 for the property before the meeting date, said Berry Banks, founder of Red-tail.

Jerry Henning and family will only sell the woodland along with more than 60 acres of farmland south of the property. Their goal is to get all of the land sold, Henning said.

Anderson developer Ward Townsend wants to buy the farmland for an additional $275,000. He lives about four houses away from the property and wants to preserve the area’s rural feel, he said.

He plans to build no more than a dozen homes on lots between five to 10 acres. The 250,000-square-foot homes would sell for $250,000 or more, Townsend said.

Henning’s land first went on the market in 2004. A developer initially planned to build a subdivision on all 127 acres of the property, but those plans fell through last fall.

Banks has wanted the woodland since it went on the market, but was not able or willing to purchase the farmland as well. The conservancy will not spend money on land for any reasons other than nature preservation.

In December, Townsend approached Banks about the possibility of working together to get the land. Townsend would pay for the farmland for homes, and Banks would pay to preserve the woodlands.

They thought they had more time to make their plans.

But Banks learned last week that landowners intended to log the woodland, he said.

Property owners need approval from the county first, since the land is not currently zoned to allow for logging.

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FYI

Red-tail Conservancy is trying to raise $275,000 to save about 60 acres of woodland south of Anderson.

Barry Banks, founder of Red-tail, is asking anyone who can help to contact him at (765) 288-2587.

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