Local landowners have permanently protected their property, conserving it for future generations. Landowners Jack & Linda Fountain have donated a conservation easement to the Georgia Land Trust on their 817 acres near Reynolds, GA.

Under the terms of the conservation easement, the Fountains still own their property and are free to use it in the same way they have in the past, but with limits on how the property may be developed in the future. The conservation easement restricts future residential or commercial development, but allows the Fountains to farm the land and manage the timber on it. At the same time, they’ve set aside their unique hardwood forests and natural areas along the banks of the streams on the property to be protected from any disturbance.

The property, which sits on both Horse and Little Vine Creek, feeds into the Flint River, the most ecologically diverse river east of the Mississippi. The scenic property features pine stands, open pastures, peach orchards, wheat and cotton fields and highly valued bottomland forests filled with several varieties of oak, ash, sweetgum, and hickory. The property contains over 300 acres of state and federally recognized productive soils, which will be protected against conversion to non-agricultural uses.

Fountainhouse When asked why he decided to protect his land Dr. Fountain cited his desire to preserve, “some of the southern self-sustaining farm life as I knew it. It is important for me to be able to pass some of this down to my children. Once the traces of this past era are gone, there is no return.” The Fountain’s home on the property was completed in 1904 by Dr. Fountain’s grandfather, who was so particular about the construction of his house that he let not a knotty board be used towards its creation. When asked about his favorite thing about the property Dr. Fountain replied that autumn and spring there “are intoxicating,” reflecting  on the “overwhelming aroma of all the new flowers,” and autumn’s “ marvelous smells in the woods with the crisp air and the rustle of wildlife.”

Marc Hudson of the Georgia Land Trust says, “the Fountain’s decision to put their property under easement adding to its agricultural uses, protecting the farm soils and special protections for their forest bottomlands will go a long way towards protecting an important public resource.” Mr. Hudson also added, “we’re very grateful for the opportunity to protect this property. We feel it is sure to be an anchor and an incentive for future conservation efforts in this area in the future.”

Gifts of conservation easements have the potential to be rewarded with tax deductions on a landowner’s income taxes and a tax credit in Georgia. To find out more about conservation easements and a possible tax deduction, check the Georgia Land Trust website at