A few weeks ago, I registered for my 3rd Smith Rock Ascent, a trail race in Central Oregon at Smith Rock State Park. As I hit the register button on Ultra Signup, I reflected on my past races here and the beautiful area where I will soon be running.
It’s easy to take our natural environments for granted; but the truth is our land—both public and private—is quickly disappearing at a rate of 4,000 acres every day due to development. Our wildplaces are being converted into housing, shopping malls, commercial offices, parking lots, and the like.
Land trusts play a vital role in preserving land where wildlife lives and roams; where we play, run and adventure, or just stand in awe of our surroundings. And now more than ever we need to ensure our conservation footprint is increased, not reduced.
As part of my Small Change Spotlight Series, I reached out to Sarah Mowry, Outreach Director for the Deschutes Land Trust, to learn more about the work they are doing to conserve land for current and future generations.
What does the Deschutes Land Trust do?
The Deschutes Land Trust a local nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land in Central Oregon. Since 1995, the Land Trust has been working cooperatively with landowners to conserve land for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities. The Land Trust protects more than 8,770 acres in our region for today and tomorrow, including six nature preserves that are managed for the benefit of wildlife and people.
Why are land trusts important?
Land trusts operate throughout the United States and abroad. They range from small groups run by volunteers, to large international groups like the Nature Conservancy. Regardless of size, they share the same purpose: conserving private land for the future. These lands are then conserved in perpetuity—protections stay with the land as the land is sold from one generation to the next. Land trusts are one of the only entities that can offer this service to private landowners. [Continue Reading]