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Board Meeting _PowerPoint Presentation_ - ArkansasWater.org - Home


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									West Fork – White River
 Watershed Initiative

               audubon arkansas
               nwa field office
               44 n. school ave.
               fayetteville, ar 72701

 Connecting Local Residents
                        with developers…

with elected leaders…                 with agency
Promoting Public Involvement
                               • as a resource for watershed
                                 • by facilitating community
                                         watershed meetings
                              • providing a forum for public
                                  discussion of water quality

 • serving a broker of conservation restoration strategies for
  private landowners, elected leaders and local government.
Facilitating Watershed Education

    Audubon worked with the Wash. County Cooperative
Extension Service and the City of Fayetteville to create visual
  distinctions between streams in our two local watersheds.
  Audubon Arkansas will make these signs available upon
      request to landowners in the coming quarter.
Supporting Applied Research
          As a resource for
           stakeholders, we
         created a Technical
         Advisory Group of
        professors and agency
            resource staff.
            One of our first
              projects is a
           demonstration of
        restoration on the U of
               A campus.
Promoting Sustainable Land
   Partnerships through…

 Conservation Easements
     Conservation Easement
          Priority Areas:

1. Riparian Zones

2. Wetland Areas

3. Bottomland Hardwoods
              Riparian Zones -
The forested land along rivers, streams, and lakes is known as the
"riparian zone". Riparian comes from the Latin word ripa, which
means bank. Riparian zones are areas of transition between
aquatic and upland ecosystems, and they offer numerous, yet
often overlooked, benefits to wildlife and people. Only within the
past few decades have we come to realize the ecological value of
riparian areas.
                   Although they comprise a small proportion of the
                   total landscape, they are among the most diverse
                      biological systems on earth , and they perform
                    important services to people which no amount of
                    human effort and technology can do as well. As
                    our population increases, there will be increased
                      pressures to use riparian areas for a variety of
                     commercial and recreational purposes. It is vital
                      that we all become involved in the conservation
                                      and restoration of these areas.
                              Wetland Areas -
                               In order to determine if a wetland
                              is “worth” anything, we must first
                                           determine it’s “value”.
                                      Historically wetlands were
                                 thought to be of little value and
were viewed by many people as mosquito infested swamps that
      stood in the way of man’s progress. Many of the nation’s
 wetlands were located in fertile river valleys and were drained
by landowners to create more agricultural land along rivers and
streams. At the time it seemed that wetland areas served no real
    purpose and that agricultural land was of greater value than
 wetlands. It was easy to see the agricultural value of these rich
       and fertile bottomland soils by the crops they produced.
                It was not so easy to see the values of wetlands.
  Bottomland Hardwoods –
Bottomland Hardwoods serve a critical role in the
watershed by reducing the risk and severity of
flooding to downstream communities by providing
areas to store floodwater. In addition, these wetlands
improve water quality by filtering and flushing
nutrients, processing organic wastes, and reducing
sediment before it reaches open water.

Two hundred years ago, magnificent
bottomland forests covered almost thirty
million acres across the Southeastern
United States. Today, only about
forty percent of that area still supports
these productive and unique ecosystems.
                    What is a
    Conservation Easement?
   A conservation easement is a legal means by which a
landowner can voluntarily set permanent limitations on the
 future use of the land, thus protecting the land's natural

   Through an easement, the owner conveys to the
easement-holder the right to prevent certain uses of the
  land in the future or to use it for specific purposes.
       Basic Elements of a
      Conservation Easement

The responsibilities and rewards of ownership continue,
and, the landowner retains full control over public access
just as s/he did before granting the easement.

This widely popular method has been used to protect
open space, farms, wildlife areas, forests, watersheds,
national parks, ocean frontage, and rare places all over the
       Conservation Benefits -
   * Riparian buffer zones are among the most effective
measures for protecting surface waters and preventing water
           quality problems in streams and lakes.
   * Buffer zones primarily function as a trap for eroded
    sediments while also facilitating the uptake of run-off
 * A recent study by the US DA and the University of
Georgia found that riparian buffers can retain or remove over
60 percent of nitrogen and phosphorus from adjoining land.
* Buffer zones slow the movement of water and facilitate the
                 recharge of groundwater.
        Landowner Benefits –
* The attraction of the conservation easement lies in the
    fact that the land remains in private ownership.

   * The owner may use, sell, lease or convey the land
  subject to the explicit terms of the easement, because
neither the title nor right to possession of the land is given
                    up by the agreement.

   * Tax benefits, ranging from potential income tax
deductions, estate tax reduction, and/or capital gains tax
          Pilot Program Goals –
                           Year One

* Establish 3 WF-WR Riparian Conservation Agreement pilot
  projects with eligible landowners in the next year;

* Establish one or more stream bank restoration projects in the
 next year by working with proven experts in this field of
 conservation such as the Arkansas Game and Fish
 Commission, the University of Arkansas and the ADEQ;

* Involve community members in a broad-target watershed
  education campaign, which making watershed maps, installing
  watershed signage at community parks and producing WF-WR
  specific outreach materials.
                 Program Goals –
                               Year Two

* Expanded easement enrollment from 3 pilot landowners
 to 5, for a total of eight at the end of two years time;

* Conducting an expanded conservation easement clinic for
  watershed landowners who would like to learn how
  to write/maintain their own conservation easements (this
 option isn't tax deductible but it would give those folks who don't feel
 comfortable with third party land arrangements an option to participate ).

* Writing and publishing an Upper White River Basin
  watershed monthly column for the “White River Valley News",
  a weekly newspaper, which publishes to a target audience
  in the Goshen, Elkins, Greenland, West Fork and Winslow
        Example of Conservation Menu Options
   Protection              Description                     Results             Income tax    Estate
     Option                                                                     deduction     tax
                                                                                   ?        reduction

                   Legal agreement between       Land's conservation values
Conservation       a landowner and a land        protected by organization.
                   trust permanently limiting    Owner continues to own,          Yes         Yes
                   a property's uses.            use, live on land.
                                                 Restrictions bind
                                                 successive owners.

Outright Land      Land is donated to land       Organization owns and            Yes         Yes
  Donation         trust.                        protects land.**

                   Interests in land are         Organization owns and
 Donation of       donated to land trust over    protects land.** Income tax      Yes         Yes
                   several years. Landowner      deductions spread over
                   still shares the ownership.   several years.
Partial Interest

 Donation of       Land is donated to land       Organization owns and            No          Yes
 Land by Will      trust or agency at death.     protects land.**
 Donation of      Land is donated to land        Organization owns and
 Land With        trust, but owner (or other     protects land during owners   Yes   Yes
                  designated) continue to        and successors life and
Reserved Life
                  live there, usually until      afterwards
   Estate.        death.

                  Land is donated to land        Donor receives an income
Charitable Gift   trust and sold subject to a    annuity for life.             Yes   Yes
  Annuity         conservation easement.

                  Land is sold to land trust     Organization owns and
Bargain Sale      or agency for a price below    protects land.                Yes   Yes
  of Land         fair market value.

                  Land is leased for a special   Development postponed.
                  number of years to a land
    Lease         trust or individual, with                                    No    No
                  restrictions placed on how
                  it can be used.

                  A group of landowners          Can be nullified by
   Mutual         agree to restrictions on       subsequent agreement of
                  their land use. May not        owners.                       No    No
                  involve a conservation
Heritage West           NWA Field Office
201 E. Markham St.      44 N. School Ave.
Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201   Fayetteville, AR 72701

501.244.2229            479.527.0700
www.ar.audubon.org      mterry@audubon.org

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