NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Success Of Small Land Trusts

October 1, 1998

Local and regional groups dedicated to preserving small tracts from development are chalking up notable successes. The groups assist private owners of the land to transfer ownership voluntarily -- sheltering the owners and their heirs from steep taxes, while protecting the tracts in their natural state.

Their successes appear small compared to those of large national groups, such as the Nature Conservancy -- which has protected 10.4 million acres in its 47-year history -- but their impact is growing.

  • The Land Trust Alliance is scheduled to announce this morning that the number of such small groups has burgeoned from 743 in 1988 to 1,213 today.
  • The trusts have about 1 million members protecting 4.7 million acres -- larger than the size of Rhode Island and Connecticut.
  • The acreage preserved has risen 135 percent since 1988.
  • The land trust concept originated in New England at the turn of the century -- spreading in recent years to such areas as Alaska, Colorado, Arizona and Tennessee.

Source: Fred Bayles, "Land Trusts Embrace Grass Roots," USA Today, October 1, 1998.


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