The Central Indiana Land Trust says a newly-signed conservation easement will protect 250 acres of land in Vermillion County. The organization says the agreement for Mule Ridge will help protect two endangered species of bats that are located there.

Mule Ridge, located near the Indiana-Illinois state line, is an ideal habitat for Indiana bats and the Northern long-eared bats, which are federally endangered and at risk of becoming extinct, according to the CILTI. The property is part of a mitigation for a wind farm, which the organization says negatively impacts Indiana bats.

The property also includes a dense forest of oak and tulip poplar trees, as well as wildflowers on the forest floor. The CILTI says the conservation easement ensures the land will not be developed and additionally, land outside of the easement will be restored with wetlands to benefit Indiana bats.

Conservation easements are legal agreements between land owners and land trusts that place specific land-use restrictions on properties according to the land owner's requests. The organization says the land will not be open to the public because it will remain in private ownership.