TPL Conservation Achievements for 2002

San Francisco, CA, 1/15/03 – Today, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit conservation organization, announced its conservation achievements for the year 2002. Across the country, TPL protected more than 129,000 acres in 29 states during 2002. This land had a fair-market value of $362 million.

In addition, TPL and its affiliate, The Conservation Campaign helped 33 communities nationwide pass measures that will generate more than $6.8 billion in new funding for parks and open space.

Founded in 1972, TPL ends its 30th anniversary year having protected a total of more than 1.5 million acres of land, from the inner city to the wilderness, in 45 states. 2002 highlights include:

Murphy Farm, West Virginia
This 99-acre farm overlooking the Shenandoah River was the site of both a Civil War battle and a meeting of African-American leaders that led to the creation of the NAACP. A 188-home subdivision had been proposed for the site. The farm, which is adjacent to Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, will be conveyed to the National Park Service.

Minneapolis Community Gardens, Minnesota
The seven city lots – three in North Minneapolis, one in South Minneapolis, and three in Phillips – had been leased by the Minneapolis Community Development Agency to local community gardeners on a season-to-season basis. The gardens will now be owned and managed by the neighborhood gardeners and the Green Institute and the Sustainable Resources Center. TPL facilitated the acquisition and fundraised in partnership with the local gardeners to purchase the land. Two sales are pending and fundraising efforts are ongoing.

Tumbledown Mountain, Maine
This project marks the latest effort by the Maine Department of Conservation, TPL, and the Tumbledown Conservation Alliance to conserve 30,000 acres in western Maine–including mountaintops, popular recreation trails, and habitat for declining species. The DOC purchased nearly 3,800 acres, including the summit of Tumbledown Mountain, and secured an easement that protects the remaining acreage from development while guaranteeing public access and sustainable forestry.

Potlatch Timberlands, Idaho
Potlatch Corporation and TPL have signed an agreement to pursue a working-forest conservation easement on substantial portions of Potlatch’s 670,000 acres of Idaho forestlands. The proposed easement protects jobs, wildlife, fisheries, and public access.

Hardman Farm, Georgia
After many years of dedicated work by the Trust for Public Land, Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the Hardman Family, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources closed on north Georgia’s historic Hardman Farm property in December – assuming the tasks of restoring and operating the site as a living history center.

Red Mountain, Colorado
Red Mountain, 3,152 acres of endangered high country land in the heart of the San Juan Mountains was protected as the first phase of a landmark initiative to save 11,000 acres of aspen groves, alpine meadows and thick conifer forests near the Million Dollar Highway. TPL recently transferred the land to the Uncompahgre National Forest and to Ouray County for permanent protection and stewardship.

El Capitan Ranch, California
TPL had seven weeks to close a funding gap of $500,000 to protect this critical wildlife corridor and recreation link between El Capitan State Beach and the Los Padres National Forest. The Santa Barbara community rallied with donations to purchase the 2,500-acre ranch. The property will be added to El Capitan Beach State Park.

“As we look back at our thirtieth anniversary, TPL recognizes that rapid growth continues to swallow many American communities,” said TPL President Will Rogers, “We will continue to work with communities to help them protect the lands they love.”

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity for the third year in a row, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs.