Conservationists are having an easier time buying land to protect. Some developers who bought land to put condos and the like on are now finding themselves in such financial distress that they selling parcels, sometimes at a loss, in order to keep themselves afloat and save part of their projects.
In Florida, where some land values skyrocketed from $1,500 an acre to $5,000 several years ago, The Nature Conservancy is practically overwhelmed by people clamoring to get out from under property, said Keith Fountain, director of land acquisition for the Conservancy's Florida chapter.That is beautiful--the conservationists get to be choosy about what they protect.
The properties the conservation group does acquire "truly have to be jewels," Fountain said. "It exceeds anything I've seen in my 16 years with the conservancy."