December 15, 2009

Donation benefits Conasauga, wildlife

Gov. Sonny Perdue on Tuesday announced 13 conservation easement donations from private landowners to the state as part of the Georgia Land Conservation Program, including one benefiting land in Murray County.

According to the governor’s office, James Dellinger of Cartersville donated a conservation easement on 1,205 acres in Murray County to the state Department of Natural Resources. “The property is surrounded on three sides by lands of the Chattahoochee National Forest, contains a two-mile stretch of the Conasauga River in the Alaculsy Valley, and supports at least 15 high-priority wildlife species,” a press release from the governor’s office said. ”The terms of the easement restrict future uses of the tract to hunting and nature-based recreation while allowing for stream mitigation credits to be earned on areas adjoining the Conasauga River.”

“Georgia has developed an outstanding culture of conservation,” said Perdue. “We are blessed to live in a state with abundant natural beauty and to have landowners committed to protecting our resources for future generations. Their generosity and stewardship is exactly what I envisioned when we created the Land Conservation Program.”

Conservation easements are voluntary agreements that permanently restrict how land can be used. Landowners keep ownership, but they forfeit some development and other rights. The state encourages conservation easements by offering income tax credits. Federal tax incentives and other financial benefits are also available.

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