Land protection is often motivated by altruism—a desire to do the right thing for the land and ensure that it will always be there for the wildlife that thrive on it and for future generations that will cherish it the way we do today. Less recognized is the fact that the thousands of acres of open land protected in our region have yielded enormous economic benefits to those of us who live here and to the people of Massachusetts generally.
Protecting land gives us clean, safe drinking water.
Thanks to the thousands of acres of forests that protect the Quabbin watershed, Massachusetts taxpayers have saved more than $250 million in water treatment infrastructure costs.
Protecting land mitigates climate change.
MassWildlife estimates that existing wildlife management areas in the state sequester 14.1 million tons of carbon dioxide. Current carbon credit prices value that at tens of millions of dollars.
Protecting land benefits health.
Access to free recreation in our protected open lands is one of the great benefits of living in our rural communities.
Protecting land supports jobs.
Outdoor recreation currently generates approximately $10 billion in annual consumer spending in Massachusetts!
Protecting open land helps reduce taxes.
Residential neighborhoods have been shown to require an average of $1.16 worth of services for each dollar of property tax collected. Protected lands as a whole (including forests, open lands, and protected farms) require on average $0.35 of services per dollar of property tax collected.
Mount Grace pays the property taxes annually assessed by the Towns we serve on the 1,700+ acres of conservation land we own.
“Investing in Nature: The Economic Benefits of Protecting Our Lands and Waters” (Land Trust Alliance and US Fish & Wildlife Service, 2017)
“The Economic Benefits of Land Conservation “(The Trust for Public Land, 2007)