The Crucial Role of Land Trusts in Preserving Local Environments

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March 22, 2015; KPIX (San Diego, CA) and WKYT (Lexington, KY)

The CBS affiliates in the San Francisco Bay Area and Lexington, Kentucky, are highlighting two local land trusts in recent news broadcasts, illustrating the prominent and critical role such nonprofits play in land conservation in the U.S.

In the Bay Area, the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) has announced the purchase of 21 acres to complete a segment of the Coastal California Trail in San Mateo County, a.k.a. “Silicon Valley.” The land complements previous purchases along a bluff known for its views of the Pacific Ocean and as a habitat for the threatened California red-legged frog and the endangered San Francisco garter snake as well as nesting raptors.

POST calls it “the fulfillment of a decade-long dream to preserve…a spectacular piece of the California coast” that will allow people to take uninterrupted hikes.

In the middle of the country, the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has begun a fundraising drive to purchase two properties in southeastern Kentucky. It’s an effort to preserve the largest known tract of old-growth forest in the state. The Trust expects to finalize a deal this spring to add 1,200 acres to Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve in iconic Harlan County.

The Trust spearheaded an effort to raise funds, with seed contributions from some large local family foundations. The preserve currently is made up of 3,124 acres.—Larry Kaplan