Every Friday we will feature a different landowner who took the steps to preserve their property. We begin with Tom Berry from a story written by Frank McIntosh.

The donor of conservation easements totaling more than 1,500 acres, Dr. Bob Harbin’s first easement, was put in place in 2001 and is in the Big Texas Valley in Floyd County, Georgia.

The easement is part of protected lands near Berry College. Beyond the valley lands, this easement also protects nearly a mile of the ridge top of Lavender Mountain.

The second of Harbin’s Floyd County easements protects nearly a mile of Coosa River bank shortly after it is formed at the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula and begins its 420-mile journey to Mobile Bay.

The property has 240 acres in cultivation with a portion dedicated to the Quail Conservation Reserve Program. Management practices on the land include planting warm weather grasses, doing controlled fire burns and disking the earth for the game

Bob Harbin; a field with wildflowers on his easement property

Bob Harbin; a field with wildflowers on his easement property

birds.

Bob says, “My hobby is habitat management—for quail, turkey, deer, and all wildlife. Everything you do for quail is good for everything else. We have a wildlife biologist who advises us on how to manage the habitat, a never ending job.”

Another Harbin easement is in Cherokee County, Alabama and has a mile of frontage on the east fork of the Little River on top of Lookout Mountain. “It’s an absolutely beautiful place, with unbelievable slopes to get down to river. It took eons for that river to cut its way down through that mountain,” Harbin noted.

Harbin’s devotion to the land comes in part from his father. “My father had to raise five kids. He was an ophthalmologist, like me, and he also loved land. When he bought the property in mid-60s, a banker friend said, ‘Well, if you’re determined to buy land you should get a Federal Farm Loan.’ He did that and got a long-term 3 percent loan. The farm leases on the property paid the note. Of course, that program doesn’t exist any more, but I still love land and like to own it.”

 

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Open Space Benefit Draws a Crowd at the Conklin Farm

Over 200 hundred people turned out for the first fundraising benefit held by the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust. It was a warm evening down on the Conklin Farm in Sandy Springs, Georgia. As the smell of the barbecue from Low Country Caterers drifted through the air, ticket holders and donors sipped beverages from the bar and chatted about the beauty of the farm located on the northside of Atlanta.

Local bands Louder Than Dirt and Pine Grove rocked the night away. The event raised money for the Land Trust to use to help save land throughout the South. In the last 20 years, the Land Trust has preserved more than 260,000 acres of forests and farmlands, making it the largest land trust in the Southeast. The Land Trust partners with landowners to execute conservation easements on their property. By giving up development rights, owners can continue farming and pass the land down to their heirs without worrying about escalating expenses forcing families off their farms and livelihoods.

Co-host Robin Conklin said she wanted to help promote the event to raise awareness of the need to save natural and open areas around the city and the Southeast.

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Land Trust Supporters Chow Down While Listening to Local Bands

Land Trust Development Director Rena Ann Stricker said that the event not only raised money but raised friends as well.

The Georgia Land Trust, Inc. is seeking qualified applicants for the professional position of Monitoring Manager. The position will be based in either a home office or in the Land Trust’s Piedmont, Alabama office with routine travel throughout the coverage area. The Monitoring Manager position provides a competitive salary, plus benefits and is supervised by the Stewardship Director. The Monitoring  Manager supervises the Land Steward, in addition to consulting with Contractual Land Stewards involved in annual monitoring for protected lands.

Maritime forest and coastal hammocks and tidal marshes are conserved in the new conservation easement to be held and monitored by Georgia Land Trust.

Maritime forests and coastal marshes are just a few of the places to be monitored by Georgia Land Trust.

The Monitoring Manager’s primary responsibility is to prepare the annual monitoring plan and make assignments to stewardship staff for implementing the monitoring of protected lands.  For a look at the job description, please click here.

The Georgia Land Trust, Inc., is a public non-profit 501(c)(3). We are committed to protecting land for present and future generations by conserving land and water through voluntary donations of conservation easements.  The organization’s goal is to provide a wide variety of benefits to society through the protection of wildlife, native species, natural communities, watersheds, forest lands, farmlands, historic sites and to enable recreational opportunities. The Land Trust has protected over 250,000 acres throughout the Southeast.

 

The Georgia-Alabama Land Trust Family is excited to announce that The Chattowah Open Land Trust, Georgia Land Trust and Alabama Land Trust are truly becoming a family, one big happy one, by merging into one organization.

The Board of Directors of our three land trusts are setting the wheels in motion to

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NEW LOGO

merge these entities into one non-profit corporation to better serve you as the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust.

Our land trusts once operated as three separate organizations before combining our staff and boards in 2005. In 1995, The Chattowah Open Land Trust was established to protect lands in the Chattahoochee and Etowah watersheds of greater Atlanta. In 2005, the board of directors for The Chattowah Open Land Trust became the board of directors for the Alabama Land Trust (formerly the East Alabama Land Trust) and the Georgia Land Trust (formerly the Coastal Georgia Land Trust).

Under common leadership and staff, our land trusts have saved over 268,000 acres of open space forever, making us the largest nonprofit conservation easement holder of private lands in the Southeast. In February 2014, all three land trusts were awarded national accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

The merger will become effective in the Spring of this year. All of our conservation efforts will continue across our current service area of Georgia, Alabama, and adjacent states, but with the advantages of a streamlined single organization.

Landowners who donate voluntary conservation easements on their private lands are our number one ingredient for success. Our track record of establishing and monitoring over 750 conservation easements over the last 20 years makes us truly the landowners’ land trust!

Conservation easements allow the landowner to continue to own and use their land for farming, growing trees, hunting and recreation. Easements are used as a tool to help safeguard our regional’s rural farming and natural heritage, and protect high priority habitats and waters on private lands for wildlife. The donation of a conservation easement can reduce estate, income and property taxes for the landowner.

We look forward to working under our new name, the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, and helping landowners protect their land for present and future generations with your generous support.

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Call your Congress Member!

Time is running out to make the enhanced tax incentive permanent for conservation easements. The U.S. House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on H.R. 5806, the Supporting America’s Charities Act, which would make permanent the incentive for donations of conservation easements.

As the 113th Congress draws to a close, the Land Trust Alliance and six  other charitable nonprofits and foundations representing tens of thousands of organizations are calling on Congress to send the charitable tax incentives package to the President’s desk before the end of the year. A letter to Capitol Hill notes that “Congress has the opportunity to multiply the millions of individual acts of generosity happening across the country and make those contributions permanent,” including the incentive for donations of conservation easements.

This incentive has helped the Land Trust preserve over 250,000 acres in the past 20 years. It has also helped land owners and farmers keep their land and continue family traditions that support our rural heritage.

We urge you to call your House member NOW at 202-225-3121 and ask for their support!

Save Money and the planet with a FREE! rain barrel workshop.

Finished Rain Barrel Project

Finished Rain Barrel Project

The Alabama Land Trust is sponsoring a free Rain Barrel Workshop for the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce. Class participants will learn, make and take; learn about how much water you can save with a rain barrel, make one yourself and then take one home.

The barrels and kits are being provided by our partners at Coca Cola and their River Network Partnership. The class will take place at the Red Cross facility at 1514 West 10th Street in Anniston at 10 am to 11:30 am on September 19th.

Only 20 places are available, so register early! Light refreshments will be served. Please wear workshop clothes and closed-toed shoes.

When: September 19th, 10 am -11:30 am

Where: 1514 West 10th Street, Anniston

Register:  cclaes@allandtrust.org

The next time you shop at Amazon.com, you can also donate to our family of land trusts. Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Alabama Land Trust, The Georgia Land Trust and The Chattowah Open Land Trust every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you log into smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5 % of the purchase price to the Land Trusts.
From time to time, there will be special promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donation amounts to the Land Trusts, so stay tuned for updates. Click the links below to sign up for donations to each land trust.

The Chattowah Open Land Trust, Inc.
The Alabama Land Trust, Inc.
Georgia Land Trust, Inc.
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