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Land trust expands holdings into northwest Georgia
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The Georgia Land Trust, which used a loan from the Open Space Institute to acquire a 201-acre tract adjacent to Fort Stewart, is branching out into other areas of the state.
GLT made a bargain purchase of development rights on the property at Fort Stewart to assist the Army Compatible Use Buffer program.
ACUB works to ensure that strategic military installations do not have their training and force deployment functions limited by encroaching development.
Jim Floyd, president and CEO of the Heritage Bank, serves on the GLT board.
In a new program an $110,000 grant to assist in the protection of nearly 500 acres in northwest Georgia was made by a program of OSI. The $4.25 million fund was established by OSI, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the Benwood Foundation in 2007 to assist in the protection of critical habitat lands established by Georgia State Wildlife Action Plans.
The grant to GLT will help underwrite an endowment to support conservation easements that provide permanent protection to habitat areas identified by Georgia's SWAP. These easements are a vital step in continuing to advance the transition from the Georgia SWAP's planning phase to on-the-ground protection.
In the case of the grant to GLT, the owners of five properties in Chattooga, Floyd and Walker counties -- with an appraised market value of almost $4 million -- relinquished almost all of their development rights, thereby limiting future human habitation to no more than a handful of homes already on the land and a few more that could be built under what are called "reserved rights" within the conservation easements.  
Conservation easements impose a limit on the amount or type of land development without sacrificing private ownership, which allows land trusts to provide protection without the need to purchase properties outright.
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