Mitigation bank

National Ag Week Reminds Of Importance Of Conservation

Take a trip through rural America and you will pass one farm after another. These farms produce an abundance of food to feed our nation and the world, support millions...

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A Look at Innovative Land Conservation In Georgia

Preserving natural resources is the cornerstone of conservation work. Through conservation easement donations from both individuals and partnerships, land trusts safeguard thousands of acres of pristine land while ensuring the...

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Old Growth Forests May Protect Some Bird Species in A Warming Climate

CORVALLIS, OR — Old forests that contain large trees and a diversity of tree sizes and species may offer refuge to some types of birds facing threats in a warming...

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My Experience with Conservation Easement Donations and an Important Private Funding Resource

As a land trust leader, my top priority is to ensure that proposed conservation projects are actually worthy of conserving. The easement donations our nonprofit has accepted from partnerships clearly address fundamental conservation values and provide public benefits. 

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New IRS Guidelines Deter Private Land Conservation, Thwart Congressional Intent

In our growing and fast-changing world, opportunities to preserve scenic open space, protect wildlife habitat and safeguard natural resources for future generations are fleeting. I see the need daily as the leader of a nonprofit land trust that works to conserve environmentally valuable property.

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An Unwelcome Gift From The IRS On Conservation Easements

The deduction for donating conservation easements is an innovative conservation funding mechanism and a powerful, effective tool for the conservation of private land in America. Conservation easements have preserved millions of acres of agricultural lands and wildlife habitat, protected water quality, and preserved America’s open spaces.

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Protecting Mountain Views and Habitat in the Cherokee National Forest

Situated within the Cherokee National Forest is a one square mile parcel of privately owned real estate that was acquired by investors in 2005. While the land was suitable for subdivision into 131 residential lots to meet growing demand for vacation and second-home properties in the area, the owners could not escape the notion that development would forever mar the unspoiled natural character of the property. The investors began exploring an alternative option where they would donate a conservation easement to a land trust – and by doing so, relinquish the land’s development rights forever – resulting in tax incentives for the partnership members.

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Building A Legacy in Land Conservation

In Midway, Georgia, a unique property derived from several King George land grants consists of diverse marshes, tidal creeks, river frontage and old growth maritime forests. For nearly forty years, the land owners refused offers from developers that would allow them to retire and instead struggled financially to keep the land in its natural state, working multiple jobs to pay property taxes and insurance. In 2015, private investments and an ecologically minded land trust helped the family conserve approximately 2,000 acres, or one-fifth of their land. But the following year, a campaign attacking conservation easement donations by partnerships nearly derailed the family’s plan to conserve an additional 2,000 acres.

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Preserving Natural Environment within a Residential Development

Investors interested in developing a private residential subdivision acquired a large mountainous property in North Carolina that offered a staggeringly rich level of biodiversity. To recoup and maximize their investments, they faced significant financial pressure to fully develop the property and sell as many private lots as possible. However, the investors were keenly aware of the area’s unique ecological significance and kept searching for an economically sound alternative: one that would allow for responsible development and preserve much of the natural environment.

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Saving Pristine Marshland from Development

Along the coastline of South Carolina just south of Charleston sits beautiful land that offers a cornucopia of environmentally unique habitats. A local family has owned the property since at least the 1800’s and received a generous offer to sell to a foreign development firm. But the landowners were reluctant to see the still rustic area largely destroyed and kept searching for another alternative. Thanks to private investments and a conservation easement donation, residential development is now prohibited, the public still enjoys the scenic views and many rare bird species using the Atlantic Flyway for migration continue to benefit from the conserved coastal property.

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The U.S. population is projected to grow by 100 million and the amount of land covered with housing, roads and shopping malls will nearly triple by 2050.

Source: Land Trust Alliance


We lose 6,000 acres of wildlife habitat every day. That’s 2.2 million acres — an area the size of Yellowstone National Park — every year.

Source: National Wild Turkey Federation - Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.”