Did you know that every day more than 40 acres of open space is lost to development in Massachusetts? (Losing Ground, Mass Audubon) And according to the Land Trust Alliance, nationally more than 5,000 acres of natural lands and family farms are lost to development daily. Here in Carlisle we are very familiar with the real and potential development threats to the rural character we all treasure.
As Carlisle's private land trust, CCF has spearheaded, facilitated and/or partnered in many of the important land protection efforts in Carlisle over the past 45 years-- Greater Estabrook Woods, Wang Coombs, the former OíRourke farm on Maple Street (now part of the Great Meadow Wildlife Refuge), Spencer Brook, the Benfield Property, and Clark Farm, to mention a few. And we continue to work with private property owners, other regional land trusts and the Town to protect our wildlife habitat, ground-water supply, the open fields and rural vistas, and valued trail connections. Land trusts recently received an added tool to aid in their land conservation efforts. In August the U.S. Congress passed important tax legislation that greatly enhances the federal tax benefits of conservation restrictions. (more detail inside). Many of these projects take patient years of negotiation, awareness raising and survey/legal work. The Carlisle Conservation Foundation is an all volunteer land trust that relies on our supporters and, most especially, this annual appeal.
Did you know that CCF has almost 500 acres to manage and maintain in Carlisle?
We own over 210 acres, and we hold Conservation Restrictions (CRs) on another 275 acres. This stewardship role is critical to the ongoing protection of these lands. Fortunately, there is recently enacted Massachusetts legislation that greatly strengthens land trusts and townsí ability to recover legal costs associated with encroachment challenges. (see inside) The CCF Board is committed to developing and maintaining a strong stewardship program -- in this past year alone, we have incurred significant expenses for survey work to clearly identify the bounds of some of our older properties, for legal expenses to defend against encroachments, and for routine maintenance such as mowing.
For 45 years, the Carlisle Conservation Foundation has been leveraging your donations to protect and maintain our Townís valuable conservation land. We are asking for your much needed support once again.
Sally Swift, President
P.S. Please consider increasing your tax-deductible gift to CCF. Donors contributing at the $250 level and above will receive a handsome baseball cap with the CCF Owl Logo.