Wyckoff Ranch

Wyckoff Ranch, Oklahoma. Photo: Eric Swanson
Photo credit: 
Eric Swanson

Nationwide, hundreds of acres of ranch and farm land are lost per hour to development. In 1999, Oklahoma passed its Uniform Conservation Easement Act to help protect farms, ranches, and natural areas in or near the state's growing metropolitan areas. Under the act, landowners can sell or donate the development rights to their property, ensuring that it will remain forever open or in agricultural use. Landowners may gain tax advantages and the satisfaction of seeing the land protected. And the community benefits through the protection of agricultural economies and open space. In growing Osage County, northwest of Tulsa, Lydia Wyckoff and her brother, Roger Lloyd, made what is believed to be the first use of the easement act in late 2000 to preserve the rolling hills and hollows of their 760 acre ranch.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.