Over the last decade or so, tourism and commercial/residential development have been taking significant swaths of land out of the hands of farmers and natural preserves. In Loudoun County, Virginia, 98 of 100 local farms have shut down as new neighborhoods are developed to combat the housing shortage and farmers sell their land due to rising property taxes. The farmland has steadily been transformed into industry and tourism. Loudoun local Maria Dampman says, “The sad reality is that the beautiful landscape that was once inhabited only by cows is now dotted with a growing number of McMansion-style houses.” Similar occurrences are taking place in regards to the orange groves and strawberry fields in Orange County, California, as well as elsewhere across the country. In fact, it is a global phenomenon.
It is no secret that the state of our planet’s environment is on a steep decline. The ice caps are melting, the Amazon rainforest is disappearing, and the hole in the ozone layer is growing. There are already ways for people to help combat this decline, like recycling, adopting animals, “adopting” freeways and roads, and supporting small businesses, but there is another, less obvious option as well.
Purchasing real estate with the purpose of preserving the undeveloped land on your plot is one of the best ways to ensure that the land will remain untouched. This can come in the form of luxury estates which come with huge lots, land trusts, conservation and open space easements. Tax credits and other options can bring landowners huge tax benefits and protect their acreage.