Conservation Legislation to Expire

Conservation legislation, which could end this year, has proven to make it easier for moderate income landowners to resist the temptations of development.

"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."

Full Story: Conservation law helps preserve properties

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