Land Conservation Efforts by Private Land Owners on the Rise

In an article appearing in the Olympian last week, John Dodge, wrote that “South Sound land conservation groups are busier than ever, despite an economic downturn that cuts across the landscape.”

Click here to read the article.

In the article, John Dodge reports that, “In the past month, Capitol Land Trust has closed three deals to protect more than 130 acres of special habitat in Thurston and Mason counties, bringing its conserved land base in South Sound to more than 3,000 acres.” Eric Erler, the executive director of the Trust, is quoted as saying they “have another 2,500 acres in the works.”

Despite the economic slowdown – or maybe because of it – people have become interested in learning about alternatives to selling or developing land they own.

Capitol Land Trust “seeks to maintain the coexistence of people, wildlife and the natural habitats that sustain us all, by working with groups and individuals at the local level to protect and conserve important lands.”

Our work is guided by four strategic conservation goals. Our efforts are community based, locally supported and economically beneficial. By working cooperatively, and with support from its members and the community, Capitol Land Trust protects the natural environment by offering landowners non-regulatory alternatives.

The Trust conserves important wildlife habitat and natural areas by accepting donations of conservation easements and gifts of land, or by working with partners to purchase lands. The Trust also meets with and counsels landowners on these and other conservation techniques.

Readers of this blog will recall that we’ve already written about the “tremendous expansion of the federal conservation tax incentive for conservation easement donations” approved by Congress in 2006. At that time that piece was written, Congress had only planned to extend particularly attractive taxing incentives to easements established in Tax Years 2006 and 2007. However, folks went to work and have been successful at extending those through 2009.

The Land Trust Alliance is an excellent resource regarding tax policy, as it applies to conservation easements. Their web page at is a good place to start. There’s even an opportunity to join their campaign to make the tax changes permanent.

If you are interested in discussing the advantages of a preserving land you own, a call to the Capitol Land Trust is a great place to start. All inquiries to Capitol Land Trust are without obligation and completely confidential.

Posted in Capitol Land Trust.