DMG owner donates conservation easement

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DEADWOOD  — Dale Morris, owner of Deadwood Mountain Grand Resort in historic Deadwood has agreed to donate a conservation easement on approximately 5.5 acres of land to preserve and protect the historic and natural integrity of land within Deadwood’s National Historic Landmark.

Adjacent to the Homestake Mining Company’s Slime Plant home to Deadwood Mountain Grand, this donation will protect in perpetuity this significant land parcel overlooking historic downtown.

The Morris family understands the recreational and aesthetic opportunities of leaving the land in its natural state.

“Deadwood is the trailhead of the highly rated Mickelson Trail in the heart of the Black Hills as well as having the distinction of being designated a National Historic Landmark,” said Zack Morris, Dale Morris’ grandson. “It is only fitting that all who ‘hit the trail’ have full access to the property and those visiting Deadwood have an uninterrupted view of all the hills surrounding the historic district.”

The designation currently awaiting approval by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission and Deadwood City Commission, offers the city a legal agreement that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. According to a document provided by the Historic Preservation Office, the agreement will, “help preserve the natural environment while protecting the scenic, historic, and small city character while emphasizing and preserving the community’s historic past for future generations.”

Deadwood’s Historic Preservation Officer, Kevin Kuchenbecker, believes the easement will help maintain Deadwood’s historic character for generations to come.

“The Historic Preservation Commission has been working for several years to protect the view shed surrounding the National Historic Landmark. This is a significant step in securing Deadwood’s preservation future.”

Deadwood Mayor Dave Ruth echoes Kuchenbecker’s statement. “The city is extremely thankful to the Morris family’s commitment to Deadwood through the donation of this Conservation Easement which has a lasting, long-term preservation impact.”

The property to be donated is currently zoned for commercial use and is adjacent to four residential properties as well as Deadwood Mountain Grand Resort. The conservation easement would prevent development of the land in perpetuity, which according to a statement from the Deadwood Historic Preservation office, “would maintain the property’s cultural, historical, archaeological, natural, scenic and recreational characteristics and in particular, maintaining the property free from new structures, alteration or changes that would encroach upon, damage or destroy the property and the Deadwood National Historic Landmark District.”

Deadwood Mountain Grand General Manager Susan Kightlinger believes the agreement shows the dedication to community by the Morris family.

“Deadwood Mountain Grand is a family-owned business, with a culture that encourages giving back,” said Kightlinger. “We have a commitment to our staff and the community to do what’s right for Deadwood.”

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