Wall Street Journal: “Real-Estate Drop Has a Green Lining”

The May 9 Wall Street Journal notes that a softening real estate market has made conservation a more attractive option for some landowners:

Real-Estate Drop Has a Green Lining

There’s a green lining to the real-estate cloud: Developers are dropping plans to build on some choice pieces of land and instead are selling it for such uses as public parks and nature preserves.

One of the big beneficiaries is Trust for Public Land, a San Francisco nonprofit group that specializes in buying land for conservation. The Trust often struggled during property-boom years to find sellers among land owners near urban centers. Now, U.S. property owners from Massachusetts to Hawaii are flocking to it…

Big creditors and financially stressed developers also are viewing [conservation] groups as a lifesaver…

See also:

Conservation Easements Preserve Land, with Potential Tax Benefits
Conservation easements are booming, reports The New York Times (“Love That View?”, June 29, 2007). The Land Trust Alliance
says they’re up 148% since 2000. Landowners give up the right to
develop a parcel, conveying it to a nonprofit land trust. To earn a tax
benefit, the land “must be a habitat for certain types of wildlife, or
abut a public waterway or wetlands, or have a scenic or recreational
quality for the community.”

In Memory of Lady Bird Johnson, Conservationist
Mrs. Johnson…was concerned with pollution, urban
decay, recreation, mental health, public transportation and the crime
rate. The Committee agreed to plant flowers in triangle parks all over
the city, to give awards for neighborhood beautification and to press
for the revitalization of Pennsylvania Avenue and the preservation of
Lafayette Park. The committee also generated enormous donations of cash
and azaleas, cherry trees, daffodils, dogwood and other plants in
evidence today in Washington’s lovely parks and green spaces. Perhaps
most importantly, Mrs. Johnson’s effort prompted businesses and others
to begin beautification efforts in low-income neighborhoods hidden from
the much-visited tourist attractions.