"The legislation, which expires at year's end, has helped increase conservation easements by 50 percent nationwide, according to Thompson [D-St. Helena]. But the bill is most important in the Bay Area, he said, because of the region's rapid development rate and sky-high land values."
"The deductions are targeted at moderate-income landowners like Beckstoffer, said Russell Shay, the director of public policy at the Land Trust Alliance, a national conservation group in Washington. This is especially true in the Bay Area, where land is worth more than the income it produces.
With a conservation easement, the land can never be developed, even if it is sold to a new owner. The price of the land generally drops because the land loses its development potential."