By Story Clark
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Extra info for A Field Guide to Conservation Finance
This is a particularly attractive opportunity for supporters if the properties are under easement and not regularly accessible to the public. Other land trusts create trail systems that encourage citizens to see and enjoy the landscape. Some sponsor workdays, fishing trips, hikes, mountain bike trips, and overnight camping trips; others bring in speakers, take on educational projects such as inviting schools to use protected land, and hold events featuring stories by oldtime landowners or discussions by biologists and ecologists.
Within each program, there are many line items of expenditure and activity. Most land trusts pay for these expenditures primarily from unrestricted charitable gifts from individuals. Others depend heavily on foundation support. Some have very unusual revenue sources. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz, for example, paid most of its bills for years with timber revenue from its sustainable tree farm and with rental income on office space and cabins. One big advantage of individual giving is that it is more likely to be unrestricted, and thus the land trust can spend it where the need is.
It was struggling just to raise its annual budget, spending its days talking to landowners about giving easements, not selling them. It was not lacking in ambition to get into the acquisition business, but it had enough on its plate. The secret to taking a step toward purchasing conservation interests for the overtaxed young land trust is subtle. 000-000 30 3/15/08 5:27 PM Page 30 Positioning Your Organization community. It rests on more than just the support of donors and target landowners, or money and land; it rests on the ongoing and truly enjoyable task of getting to know the community and the community getting to know the land trust.