TIMELY TOPIC: Within hours of the announcement that Evergreen Forest Trust would purchase 100,000 acres of Weyerhaeuser forestlands in the Cascade foothills, one of the key participants was at the UW’s College of Forest Resources as a panelist discussing the very topic of land trusts.
Presentations in the college’s Denman Forestry Issues Series are meant to be topical, but the organizers had no idea just how timely the subject was going to be.
Land trusts involve private forest and wild lands that are purchased, donated or managed using easements for conservation purposes. Evergreen Forest Trust’s overarching goal is to keep the purchased forestland, which is near growing, urban areas, from being converted to other uses, the trust’s Gene Duvernoy told those gathered at the college. Involving an area twice the size of Seattle, the Evergreen Forest Trust wants to sell $185 million in tax-exempt bonds to be repaid by logging proceeds. The IRS must approve this new approach, tagged Community Forest Bonds.
Along with putting all the property off-limits to development, sensitive areas near rivers and steep banks would be preserved.
David Thorud, UW professor of forest resources, is a board member of Evergreen Forest Trust and was among those credited with making the deal possible, said the trust’s president.
“Understanding Conservation Easements and Land Trusts,” also featured speakers from the Pacific Land Trust based in Northern California, Forest Systems Inc. headquartered in Massachusetts and Nature Conservancy of Washington, according to moderator Jim Agee, professor of forest resources.
KUDOS: Architecture Professor Steve Badanes has been honored with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor Award. He will be recognized at the annual ACSA meeting in April.
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