The Memphis Zoo's Brian Carter sent a reply to my earlier letter:
A few things:
- I know the Zoo doesn't want the exact same for the 17 acres as CPOP does. If I believed that I would have asked them to take down the Fence. I know they want to keep the Fence.
What I thought possible, based on Carter's original statement that they wanted the same things, is that the Zoo might want to protect the Old Forest in their 17 acres, even if it's still fenced up. A conservation easement would do that, without unlocking the fence, without stopping a boardwalk. In fact, they have said repeatedly said that they plan to use "the boardwalk at the William B. Clark Conservation Area in Rossville, TN as an initial concept." It's possible, so why not do it?
- It is very true "that the primary purpose of a conservation easement is to prevent land from certain forms of uses." Uses like these:
Exactly the kind of uses we hope an easement will prevent.
- Whether "the fence that was removed" was permanent or temporary is beside the point. When it came down, they started dumping things on top of plants and knocking trees over.
- I can assure everyone that CPOP will not send an Old Forest conservation easement petition to the Zoo's Marketing Department* for vetting (!!!). We will send it to the directors of the Memphis Zoological Society and the members of the Memphis City Council.
Or perhaps, rather than our sending it to them, their sending it to us, ad nauseum, how about the Zoo working with CPOP and other stakeholders to create the easement?