United States
 Protection Agency
   Wetlands Protection:
    South Jersey
     Land Trust
   Restores Critical
  Wetland Habitat

 The South Jersey Land
 Trust received an EPA
 Five Star Restoration
 Grant to to restore 42
 acres of wetland
 habitat within the
 Cedar Lake
 headwaters of the
 Great Egg Harbor Wild
 and Scenic River. The
 project will provide
 critical nesting and
 feeding habitat for
 various species of
 resident and migratory
 waterfowl and
 shorebirds. Project
 partners include the
 New Jersey
 Department of
 Protection, the New
 Jersey Conservation
 Foundation, and
 Ducks Unlimited. The
 land trust is actively
 promoting watershed
 protection in the local
 community through
 educational programs
 and by providing
 opportunities for
 residents to monitor
 the project site. For
 more information on
 this or other EPA Five
 Star Restoration
 Projects, visit
 We are prone to speak of the resources of this
 country as inexhaustible; this is not so. We
 have fallen heirs to the most glorious
 heritage a people ever received, and each one
 must do his part if we wish  to show that the
 nation is  worthy of its good fortune.
                    — President Theodore Roosevelt
     As we realize the tremendous ecological
     ind socioeconomic values that wetlands
provide, protecting and restoring our nation's
wetlands has become a national priority.
Wetlands are important in helping control
floodwaters, in providing erosion control, and
in maintaining water quality. In addition, they
provide critical wildlife habitat for numerous
species. Wetlands also provide valuable open
space for visual and recreational enjoyment.

Approximately 75% of the remaining wetlands
in the lower 48 States are privately owned. By
conserving and restoring wetlands, landowners
act as stewards working to preserve wetland
ecosystems for their uses and for the benefit of
future generations.

Land trusts can help those private landowners
who want to be stewards of the land, who
appreciate the value of natural spaces, and who
want to leave an enduring legacy.
What is a Land Trust?
Land trusts are independent, non-profit
organizations that work with landowners who
are interested in conserving open space. Land
trusts often work cooperatively with
government agencies by acquiring or managing
land and by researching open space needs.

The private land conservation movement in the
United States is experiencing a period of
tremendous growth. Since 1985, the number of
land trusts operating in the United States has
more than doubled to over 1,200 organizations,
conserving more than 6.2 million hectares.
How do Land Trusts  Operate?
Land trusts can purchase land for permanent
protection, accept land donations, or acquire
conservation easements, which permanently limit
the type and scope of activities that can take place
on the land.

Land trusts protect a variety of land types. A
recent survey conducted by Land Trust Alliance
indicates that wetlands, river corridors, and
watersheds are the top three priority areas for
land trusts. Land trusts also provide programs in
environmental education and participate in land-
use planning efforts in their communities.
 Conservation  Easements
   Conservation easements are voluntary and
   permanent legal agreements between
   landowners and land trusts, conservation
   organizations, or government agencies.
   Easements protect the conservation values of
   a parcel of land by limiting its present and
   future uses. Landowners and land trusts
   negotiate the easement terms, which are
   designed to protect the land's conservation
   value while allowing landowners to retain
   ownership and use.

   Easements are uniquely flexible tools in that
   they are designed to reflect landowners' needs
   and wishes for the land. Landowners retain
   the right to own and sell the property, but the
   easement restrictions will always remain with
   the property, attached to the land.

                             Protecting  Oregon's  Wetlands
The Wetlands Conservancy (TWC) is one of
Oregon's first land trusts. It was founded in
1981 to conserve, protect, and restore the
physical and ecological values of wetlands,
other aquatic systems, and related uplands.

The Conservancy accomplishes its mission
by accepting donations of conservation
easements, land parcels, and conservaton
funds. TWC manages over 800 acres of
wetlands throughout the state.

Through its Stewardship Program, the
organization provides outreach assistance to
citizen groups, private landowners, and
watershed councils on wetland conservation
and restoration. TWC is also leading the
coordination of a new statewide strategy to
protect biologically important wetlands.
The "Oregon's Greatest Wetlands" project
identifies, maps, and gathers information on
the state's critical wetlands. TWC is taking
a lead role in promoting and enhancing
collaboration and partnerships among other
non-profits, community groups, individual
landowners, and state and federal agencies.

In 2001, TWC published Heroic Tales of
Wetland Restoration, which describes 12
rural landowners who changed their
farming practices to reclaim wetlands,
streams, and rivers. The book describes the
vision, passion, and perseverance that were
necessary to achieve success. To purchase a
copy or learn more about TWC's role in
wetland restoration, visit the organization's
                                       The Wetlands Conservancy manages over
                                       800 acres of Oregon's wetlands.
            Protecting  Vernal Pools
The Sacramento Valley Conservancy is a private, non-profit land trust
founded to preserve the beauty, character, and diversity of the
Sacramento Valley landscape. The organization works with citizens,
property owners, developers, public agencies, and other non-profit
organizations to preserve land for agricultural, natural resource
protection, recreation, and wildlife habitat purposes.

In 1998, the organization set its sights on establishing a 3,000-acre vernal
pool preserve in south Sacramento County. Vernal pools are unique
wetlands that occur on the floor and within the foothills of California's
Central Valley. These wetlands support a diversity of specialized plants and
animals that occur nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, they are also
one of the  most rare and threatened ecosystems in the world.

In 2002, the organization received a low-interest revolving fund loan from
the Water Resources Control Board for $995,000 to purchase 281 acres of
vernal pools within the preserve. This purchase brings the total protected
land within the Sacramento Prairie Vernal Pool Area to over 2,000 acres.
Visit www.sacramentovalleyconservancy.org for more information.
 Land Trust Alliance 	www.lta.org

 The Trust for Public Land	www.tpl.org

 The Nature Conservancy	www.tnc.org

 EPA Wetlands Program	www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands

 EPA Five Star Grant Program	www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/restore/5star
Why Partner with a  Land Trust?

      ITax Incentives — Land trusts' nonprofit
      status brings  a  variety of tax benefits.
 Donations of land, conservation easements, or
 money may qualify you for income, estate, or
 gift tax savings. The grantor of a conservation
 easement may receive a charitable income tax
 deduction for the value of the easement. For an
 estate tax, the grant of an easement usually results
 in a lower property value and, therefore, a lower
 value for the federal estate tax.

2      Long-term Stewardship — Land trusts
      can act more quickly than public agencies
 and often can be more flexible and creative. Land
 trusts that accept a conservation easement also
 accept the responsibility of monitoring and
 enforcing the easement terms in perpetuity.

3      Ensured Protection — Some wetlands,
     waters, and adjacent habitats may not fall
 under the jurisdiction of  state  and federal
 environmental statutes. Donating or placing
 easements on these areas ensures that they will
 remain protected for the current landowner and
 for future generations.