The Land Trust of the Little Tennessee, the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, and the Wildlands Network received a Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) conservation grant to help private landowners and government agencies in the southeastern United States protect special forest sites though working-forest conservation easements.
The three nonprofit conservation organizations were awarded a total of $65,000 over two years to work with hardwood forest owners, government agencies and SFI program participants to encourage owners to consider easements, and to offer advice and technical assistance.
Project activities will include community education and outreach workshops, training and technical assistance, and production of materials showing the value of easements. Other project partners are the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the Nature Conservancy – North Carolina Chapter, along with SFI program participants, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and Resource Management Service LLC.
A working-forest conservation easement is a voluntary contract between a landowner and a land trust, government agency or other qualified organization in which the owner places permanent restrictions on future uses of the property to protect forest resources, while still managing it responsibly. It can result in potential tax benefits for the landowner, who still owns the property.