Property Rights Foundation of America®

Land Trusts

New information added on September 18, 2013

Email Us

"Why the Assault?" - Book Review By Jigs Gardner (PRFA, June 2008)
Government Pirates: The Assault on Private Property Rights And How We Can Fight It by Don Corace (Harper Collins, 288 pp., $14.95 paper)

"Finch, Pruyn & Co. is Sold to Connecticut Holding Company; Soon All 161,000 acres of Timber Land Go to The Nature Conservancy" - News Brief, PRFA, August 2007

"The Environmental Trust Bankruptcy" - by Darrel Beck (Reprinted by permission from newsletter of Citizens for Private Property Rights, Santa Ysabel, California, Sept. 2005)
The San Diego-based land trust called The Environmental Trust filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last spring, leaving behind debt exceeding #13 million, many unrecorded conservation easements, incompletely deposited endowment funds, and inadequate financial ability to protect "critical habitat" on lands it was obligated to manage.

"IRS to Audit Nature Conservancy From Inside"
By Joe Stephens and
David B. Otttaway
Washington Post, Jan. 17, 2004
"A team of IRS examiners will move into the global headquarters of the Nature Conservancy in Arlington to begin auditing the charity, the world's largest environmental organization."
Full article

"Land Trust Bonanza in 'Faith Based Initiative' Blocked Again in Congress"
- PRFA, September 2003

The House Ways and Means Committee approved HR 7, Pres. Bush's Faith Based Initiative, but
struck out a land acquisition/conservation easement provision for a capitol gains break that would
benefit the land trusts to the tune of a billion dollars.

"Senators Betty Little & John Bonacic Stand Firm" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from N.Y. Property Rights Clearinghouse, Summer 2003)
The Nature Conservancy, other non-profits attack New York State Senators' real estate tax reform bills. Washington Post article exposes Conservancy corruption.

October 23, 2002:
"The Nature Conservancy Gets 11,000 Acres of Great South Bay Bottomlands"

December 15, 2001:
Citizens of Tiny Arizona Town Battle The Nature Conservancy to Keep Water Rights-
A December press release from Randy Heiss on behalf of Unidos Hacemos Fuerza, (address) a grassroots group whose name signifies the strength that comes from unity, describes their struggle against the Nature Conservancy (TNC) to protect the water rights of the residents of the town. The citizens are using a ballot referendum to try to stop TNC from grabbing rights to more water flow than is regularly available from the Sonoita Creek. TNC claims its stream flow data are more accurate than that of the USGS. TNC wants to use the water to preserve the endangered Gila topminnow, according to Mr. Heiss.
Press Release-Unidos Hacemos Fuerza

See Also
See Also

Conservation Easements

Essential Books & Publications
Essential Books
& Publications

Ron Arnold, Undue Influence—Wealthy Foundations, Grant-driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, (The Free Enterprise Press, Bellevue, Washington, 1999). Available from: Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise

Carol W. LaGrasse, The Property Owner's Experience-New York's Arbitrary and Excessive Environmental Regulation of Private Land and Resources (PRFA 1998). Copies still available at $10.00 plus $2.00 p&h from PRFA.
Publication Order Form

"Perverting the Trust-Private Charitable Land Preservation Organizations as Government Acquisition Agents" - Positions on Property, Vol. 2, No. 2, Apr. 1995. (PRFA, $3.00 including p&h)
Publication Order Form

Additional Resources
Additional Resources

"Notprofit Land Bank Amasses Billions—Charity Builds on Corporate Partnership" — By David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, Washington Post Staff Writers, Sunday, May 4, 2003: page A01 (First of three articles)
This link is to a superbly documented article exposing The Nature Conservancy's corrupt business boondoggles; its giant financial transactions with its governing board members; its sale of choice conservancy land to past and present trustees, often at steep discounts; its coincidental silence on major environmental issues coinciding with interests of board members; and big industrial polluters on its board.

The Nature Conservancy's "No Fishing" policy
from Brenda Hunt, Land Steward, TNC Eastern New York Chapter, to Brian Gilbert, August 4, 1992.

Unidos Hacemos Fuerza


Charity navigator
Find the salaries of executives of non-profit organizations.


In-Depth Information

  • Advance Conference Announcement:
    Keynote Address on Land Trusts by Investigative Reporter Eric Francis Coppolino, Seventeenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights, October 26, 2013, The Century House, Latham, N.Y., Sponsored by the Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
  • "Saving Land: Who Benefits and Who Loses" - by Susan Allen, A book review of Eco-Fascists: How Radical Conservationists Are Destroying Our National Heritage by Elizabeth Nickson (N.Y.: Harper Collins 2012)
    How the environmental movement broke the rural economy. The result of an international journalist's research across North America and beyond after she delved into what was behind the preservationist obstruction of the building of her eco-sensitive house in British Columbia.
  • Nate Dickinson"Are People Still Contributing to The Nature Conservancy?" - By Nate Dickinson (PRFA, February 25, 2004)
    After reports in the Washington Post about The Nature Conservancy's questionable financial practices, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee headed by Sen. Charles Grassley recently investigated widespread accounting problems, violations of the Internal Revenue Service regulations, and conflicts of interest including selling scenic properties to trustees who reaped large tax breaks.
  • "An Unexpected Visit from The Nature Conservancy" - By Nate Dickinson (PRFA, October 21, 2003)
    A solicitation letter from TNC tugs at the heartstrings, but relies on the "emotional, gullible segments of society" to believe that they are "saving the last great places on Earth."
  • Bush Administration signs a Memorandum of Understanding with The Nature Conservancy to jointly manage the nation's National Forests
    The U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy announced a watershed memorandum of understanding (MOU) on November 16 to share the management of the entire National Forest system. The agreement includes inventorying, monitoring, protection and restoration of forest, grassland and aquatic habitat for fish, wildlife and plant resources. According to the official press release, the underlying goals of the memorandum of understanding include preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem management, rather than production of raw materials to feed the nation's economy. Two key MOU directives are to utilize prescribed burns and to combat invasive species. The MOU can be expected to reinforce the previous administration's road closure policy. (November 2001)
  • "Has The Nature Conservancy Run Amok?" — By Nate Dickinson (PRFA, October 2002)
    Wildlife biologist Nate Dickinson tackles bad science, deception, and play on emotions used by the most heavily endowed of the environmental organizations, which is "entering the ranks of the most successful real estate brokers."
  • Asst. Sec. of U.S. Dept. of Interior responds to LaGrasse (DOI Letter, June 18, 2002)
    Commenting specifically on LaGrasse's March 10, 2002 letter to DOI, Lynn Scarlet, Asst. Secretary, Policy, Management and Budget, responded, "With respect to your recommendation that endangered, threatened and rare species restoration should be contracted out, the President's Management Agenda does call for a greater focus on competitive sourcing...We share your desire for transparency and a wide range of partnerships for conservation."
  • "Unjustified Privileges of Environmental Non-Profits" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, The Rhodes Real Estate Review, January 1999. Reprinted by permission.
    Marie and Joe Hill were destroyed by the results of an environmentalist campaign to preserve their Massachusetts farm to the group's tastes. Another land preservation group, Scenic Hudson, has tied up the future of a family-owned concrete block plant in New York, and cost the owner over $2 million on permits, in the name of protecting nearby rattlesnakes.
  • "Aggressive Non-Profits - Recently Revealed Land Trust Obstruction of Private Property Owners" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA Background Brief, July 1998)
    Scenic Hudson's tactics in the Fishkill Ridge have obstructed Montfort aggregate mine application for 8 years, costing the small firm $2 million so far. Mohonk Preserve, Friends of the Shawangunks and Open Space Institute team up against young couple. ABC story exposing The Nature Conservancy tactics in Florida Keys is spiked.
  • The front of the Hill Dairy Farm."Preservation Group Straps Massachusetts Farm Couple" — By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring-Summer 1997, PRFA)
    Bankruptcy court appeal may be the final chapter for Marie and Joseph Hill, an elderly couple who are being evicted from their scenic dairy farm in South Dartmouth on Buzzard's Bay, after losing a battle with a local preservation group, FORM.
    Hill Farm Photo Gallery

Back to:
Property Rights - National PRFA Home Page

© 2013 Property Rights Foundation of America ®
All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.