your resource for land conservation education and reference January 2013 Newsletter [ Archive ]

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January 2013 PLN Newsletter

Happy Holidays from all of us at RFF

From RFF President Amos Eno: For the ultimate in Christmas gifts which keep on giving not just for years but in perpetuity, consider the largely volunteer, local, bottom-up work being done by land trusts coast to coast. One example is this from the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association: “Spring Hills Farm has always meant more to the community than a place to get their Christmas trees. For more than 50 years the farm has produced timber, maple syrup and a lot of childhood wonder. Countless school children have poured from their buses, destined for horse-drawn carriage rides and the experience of choosing the perfect Christmas tree for their classrooms.” This one farm will keep on giving its gifts thanks to the Hull family creating a conservation easement to protect their land and, by example, having their neighbors do the same. Read more at:

SPRINGHILLSThis Christmas, I urge you to join RFF in supporting your local land trust. Also please visit our Resources First Foundation donation page to either renew your support or make your first-time donation to expand conservation on private lands in ways which directly benefit landowners, the public, the environment and the U.S. economy.

    Photo: Some of the organic products which Spring Hills Farm sells.


Louisiana Here We Come!

We’ve begun work on building our next state site, the Louisiana Conservation Center, to join our existing regional sites: Arkansas, California, Maine, Mississippi and the Houston region. Our December visits with state officials and conservation organizations in Louisiana confirmed this state has as many great environmental programs and incentives as it has great natural resources. The state also exhibits a genuine desire to have RFF provide a single one-stop-shopping portal to access all of these programs and resources.

As one official told us, “The land owners I deal with all want information and even very wealthy owners want to participate in government programs that save dollars while improving conservation.” Another official is excited about having a comprehensive PLN site for Louisiana because “We produced a hard-copy clearinghouse of information for the state but it was out of date the moment it was printed.” Another pointed out private landowners are key to conservation because “90% of our conservation projects rely on voluntary landowner cooperation and 82% of our coastal zone is privately owned.”

Update Your Own PLN Listing

Soon PLN directory members will be able to update the information in their own listing. Allowing the members of our directory to update their own profiles has been one of the goals in the continuous evolution of the Private Landowner Network. Directory listing self-updates will be available to everyone in our database with a valid email address on record. Willard Dyche has written the software and we’ll be testing it with a selected group of PLN members during the next few months. We plan to go live with it in the new year. When we go live, we hope you’ll play a more active role in the PLN community by taking individual ownership of the content we provide on our sites. Our goal is to generate more on-the-ground conservation through increased peer-to-peer interaction among landowners throughout the USA.

RFF Welcomes New Staff Members

Another major enhancement is veteran marketing and development professional Christine Force who joined our team in December as RFF’s new Director of Development. Her extensive professional background includes 14 years in corporate marketing and community relations at Hannaford Supermarkets before joining the non-profit sector. Her ten years of experience in development, non-profit management and program initiatives include VP of Fund Development for the Good Shepherd Food Bank where her team led the creation of purchase partnerships with 20 Maine farms so that nutritious food is distributed to Mainers struggling with hunger.

Attorney Breana Behrens also joined the RFF team in December, becoming RFF’s first Conservation Tax Center (CTC) Director. Behrens earned her JD and Masters in Environmental Law and Policy and brings experience in addressing land use, land transfer and municipal law issues. She’s already been busy fine-tuning PLN information on conservation easements, land tenure and transfer, and tax law. So check back in with CTC regularly for Breana’s latest updates.

Answers as Close as Your Keyboard

Need help with your woodlot? PLN hosts 2,704 forestry management professionals, including all ACF members, all mapped by location. Are you a landowner over 60 struggling with intergenerational estate issues? PLN hosts 1,270 tax and estate attorneys along with other land-transfer experts. Do you want to hunt or fish in Arkansas or Mississippi? Want to hunt in Maine or go bass fishing at Grand Lake Stream? Or need a home wind system to lower your energy costs with help from Blue Sky? It’s all readily available from the Private Landowner Network.

Help Support RFF’s Conservation Efforts
To contribute items for our national conservation database or offer your comments, please email We welcome your participation in expanding our information resources and we're especially seeking success stories about farmers, ranchers and forest owners who are actively engaged in “keeping working lands working."e Welcome Your Input
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