With the world’s population now exceeding 7 billion people, undeveloped land is quickly diminishing. This week, hundreds of people from across the country are in Salt Lake City hoping to reverse that trend by taking part in the Land Trust Alliance Rally at the Salt Palace.
If you’ve ever heard someone say “When I was a kid that development was nothing but an open field,” You can tell them this: thanks to nearly 2,000 non-profit local land trusts across the country, the owner of that open field has more options to let it stay.
“They still control the land; they can pass the land down to their heirs, but the land will not be developed," says Ron Aldrich, Director of Communications for Land Trust Alliance. The group has been in Salt Lake City since Saturday holding workshops and fieldtrips for the 1600 guest who traveled from across the country.
"This business is incredibly complex. You have to have organizational management skills. You have to have tax knowledge; you have to have legal knowledge on real estate and by coming to the rally you can get training on a wide variety of subjects by the best presenters in the United States."
Wendy Fisher, Executive Director of Utah Open Lands is attending the Rally and says while there are people from all over the country; everyone is working toward one common goal. Recently Fisher used her experience with the group to help protect Killyon Canyon up Emigration Canyon.
"We worked with them to negotiate the purchase of that land and then to bundle the land rights into a trust called a conservation easement. And what the land trust then does is enforces and protects that land for its conservation value by restricting its development value."
The conference wraps up Tuesday. Land Trust Alliance reports the movement is growing nationwide each year.