The Los Angeles Times reports today on the Bonnheim ranch, a recently minted conservation easement. There is some controversy over the ranch because its owners are permitting logging on the premises, which doesn’t sound like conservation to many people in the area.

My high school English teacher had an expression: show, don’t tell. The article is a powerful anecdote that reveals many of the issues surrounding land trusts and conservation easements, by giving just one example.

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Whenever trusts or easements come up, my first thought is this: the agreement is forever, or at least it can be (if this is incorrect, someone please let me know). The up-front price of the land is the bargain of the century when you look at it that way. It surprises me that more land isn’t bought and donated to easements or trusts, especially given the other financial incentives to do so, like tax deductions.

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