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Forever Wild Program Generates Solid Economic Return To Alabama

| March 23, 2017 @ 5:21 am

By Pat Byington
Bham Now

The Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust is a powerful economic engine that provides numerous fiscal benefits to communities throughout the state, a recently released analysis shows.

The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Alabama, Conservation Alabama Foundation, Birmingham Audubon and The Conservation Fund, conducted an analysis of the return on investment in land conservation through the Forever Wild Land Trust. It found that every $1 invested in land conservation returned $5 in “natural goods and services.” The benefits include enhancing wildlife habitat and tourism, flood control and providing water quality protection that otherwise could require expensive public investments.

“Alabama’s natural resources provide a wealth of economic, community and conservation benefits to the citizens of this great state. From a booming outdoor recreation industry to providing outdoor spaces for families to enjoy the great outdoors, Forever Wild is an important investment to protect Alabama’s special places,” said Roger W. Mangham, The Nature Conservancy in Alabama state director.The economic study looked at 188,000 acres of Forever Wild lands that had been purchased between 1994 and 2015. Several land acquisition projects were profiled in the report, including Coldwater Mountain in Calhoun County, which has become a mecca for mountain bikers, and the Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area in Hale County, which is a national marquee site for sporting dog competitions.

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