Helping landowners do more to conserve our nation’s farms, forests, and wetlands is necessary to maximize conservation benefits such as:
- Reducing air and water pollution
- Preserving open and green spaces
- Preserving fish and wildlife habitats, endangered species, and biodiversity
- Managing and protecting watersheds and wetlands
- Maintaining scenic landscapes and recreational amenities
- Preventing soil erosion and improving soil quality
- Reducing the negative impacts of flooding
- Improving resilience to drought and invasive species
- Helping to sequester greenhouse gases
- Protecting sustainable capacities to produce food and fiber
- Limit fragmentation or parcelization
Clean air and water are limited resources. The tree canopy and vegetation serve as critical filters for our air. Wetlands that border our rivers, lakes and streams filter pollution before it reaches our drinking water. If we do not remove the pollutants that our society puts into the air and water, we consume them ourselves. Already, nearly half of the river miles in America are too polluted to drink from and over 50 percent of our drinking water comes from rivers. Saving land in local communities helps offset this danger.
Economic Benefits of Land Conservation
The conservation of natural lands and of working farms and forests can generate financial returns, both to governments and individuals, and create significant cost savings.
In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Study after study has demonstrated the tremendous economic benefits of land conservation.
Conserving natural lands, working farms and forests, and the creation of trails and parks are often viewed in terms of their costs. Yet these often generate financial returns, both to governments and individuals, and create significant cost savings to governments in the provision in services. Preservation projects can have a greater economic return than the money initially invested into the project. This is not meant to state that conservation is always good and development always bad. Nor is it meant to diminish the importance of the environmental reasons for conservation.
HeadWaters Land Conservancy Helps Our Community
- By helping individuals protect community resources that come from the land – water, food security, wildlife, and places for recreation and reflection
- Promoting stronger local communities by giving citizens the knowledge and support they need to reach out and work with their neighbors to protect the local places they need and love
- Serving as a part of a national community of land trust staff, volunteers, members and advocates committed to private land conservation across the country
Over the years, land trusts have been extraordinarily successful, having protected more than 37 million acres of land, according to the National Land Trust Census.
Land conservancies preserve land for future generations, protecting our food and water supply, purifying our air, providing wildlife habitat, and strengthening our communities.