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Forests at Work: A New Model for Local Land Protection

The economic benefits of working forest preservation include revenues from timber, recreation services, the avoidance of having to artificially replace the ecosystem services naturally provided by the forest, and the avoidance of development costs. Utilizing conservation easements rather than fee simple purchases greatly reduces debt service payments and retains at least a modest stream of property tax revenues for the county.
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  • The economic benefits of working farm preservation include revenues from timber, recreation service, the avoidance of having to artificially replace the ecosystem services naturally provided by the forest, and the avoidance of development costs.
  • The location of a preserved working forest can affect the amount of avoided costs of new development and the gain in property taxes from nearby lands that benefit from a protected area established in close proximity.
  • Managing for timber, carbon sequestration, recreation and other ecosystem service revenues can, at a minimum, help cover the costs of ongoing management and pay for restoration activities. It could also generate a positive return per dollar spent. This is even more feasible if the working forest is located in newly developing areas, where land values are not as high.
  • Utilizing conservation easements rather than fee simple purchases greatly reduces debt service payments and retains at least a modest stream of property tax revenues for the county.

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Last modified by Gayle Diehl

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