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--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on preserving and connecting California's Parks & Wildlife Corridors

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Monday, June 30, 2008

413 acres Saved in the Sierra Foothills by the Pacific Forest Trust

From Summer 2008 Newsletter

Love Creek Forest – a 413-acre family-owned, mixed-conifer working
forest outside Arnold in Calaveras County, CA – has been conserved through a partnership with the Pacific Forest Trust, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the Smith family. Love Creek Forest shares its boundaries with two Sierran treasures – Big Trees State Park and Stanislaus National Forest – and has been managed sustainably under the American Tree Farm System for the last 40 years...

The Smith family, who have owned Love Creek Forest for more than 65 years, have long been involved in conservation efforts to protect Calaveras County’s natural resources and public lands. In 1974 for example, Dr. Ben Smith and his wife Dutton – the original Smith owners and Larry’s parents – were active in creating the Calaveras Big Trees Association, a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Big Trees State Park. But it is the responsible stewardship of their own property and their decision to protect their land in perpetuity that may most help preserve the adjacent Big Trees State Park and Stanislaus National Forest.

“Love Creek Forest serves as an important wildlife migration corridor between public lands, contains creeks and streams that feed into the public water supplies and provides scenic buffers and firebreaks that help protect neighboring public resources,” notes PFT Conservation Manager Megan Wargo. “As such, this project will have significant landscape-level conservation

The Smith family generously donated the land value cost of the easement to the Pacific Forest Trust. In doing so, the family was able to take advantage of the expanded federal income tax benefits that were available through the end of 2007 and that are currently being considered for renewal by Congress. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy, an agency of the State of California, funded the project’s transactional costs.

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