Plateau land trust conserves record number of acres

out conservedWith more than 400 acres of land conserved through purchase and conservation easements in 2015, the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust is celebrating a record year of land protection.

The 400 newly conserved acres bring HCLT’s lifetime acres conserved to 3,000. Properties conserved in 2015 include: 63 acres protecting old growth hemlock and Clear Creek headwaters at Brushy Face Preserve; 30 acres of intact forestland in the Eden area of Jackson County; 117 acres in the Central Cowee Mountains that are visible from Franklin and the Blue Ridge Parkway; 215 acres along the slopes above Wayehutta Creek near Cullowhee; and 10 acres protecting wetlands in the Horse Cove area east of Highlands.

With Congress recently passing legislation making a federal tax incentive on conservation easement donations permanent, HCLT expects more conservation successes ahead. The tax incentive gives land donors a 50 percent credit on their adjusted gross income over 16 years.

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