To the Editor:
A letter appearing in The Smoky Mountain News two weeks ago incorrectly characterized the mission, work, and views of The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee. The letter stated “Environmental Groups like the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee ... would like to severely limit the development of private property in Macon County and elsewhere. They diligently work to get overly restrictive land use and development ordinances established ....”
The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) does work diligently — in a nonpartisan manner — to conserve the waters, forests, farms, and heritage of our region. With respect to private property, we typically assist owners who voluntarily seek to protect their land through conservation easements and we sometimes purchase land that we believe has special conservation values.
Our membership, as well as our board of directors, is diverse. Over the years, our supporters have included developers and builders. Those of us not directly involved in those pursuits recognize that construction is an important part of the local economy.
In my experience with LTLT, the common value among our diverse membership and directors is a sense of stewardship, a belief that we have been blessed with a natural and cultural heritage that should be passed on to future generations. So while our main contribution has been to bring voluntary, non-regulatory options for land conservation to our region, LTLT does support ordinances that would assure that development activities are conducted safely and in a manner that does not jeopardize that heritage.
Chair, Board of Directors
The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee