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History / Future of the

Land Trust Network

 

The history of the Land Trust Network begins in 1995 when a group of Jefferson County citizens, concerned for their environment, formed the Jefferson County Environmental Network (JCEN). The incorporation of JCEN was done in order to help organize its members to affect change in the Jefferson County Zoning regulations which JCEN members believed was allowing too much development in the county, and that this development was straining the county's natural resources. During the process of changing Jefferson County's land use regulations many citizens within JCEN felt that the zoning laws alone could not permanently protect the county's natural resources. Soon after, the members of JCEN formed a 501c3 tax exempt land conservation organization named the Land Trust Network of Jefferson County.

 

By creating this land trust, all Wisconsin landowners now had the option of protecting their land rather than selling it for residential, commercial, and industrial development. Landowners could now determine the fate of their land's future by placing a conservation easement on their land, which would allow them to continue to own their land, but it would be protected forever.

 

Landowners are given the option, no matter the size, location, or topography of their land, of donating or selling their land, or a conservation easement, to the Land Trust Network. By selling or donating a conservation easement, the easement is attached to the title of the land and the Land Trust Network monitors the easement's compliance in perpetuity.

 

The Land Trust Network works with the USDA NRCS office, the Wisconsin Working Lands program, the Wisconsin DNR Stewardship Fund, local businesses, federal, state, and local conservation organizations, and private landowners, in protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources.

 

If you have any questions regarding the history or mission of the Land Trust Network, email us at landtrustnetwork@tds.net

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