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Land conservation leader calls economic climate ?close to ruinous? for green groups

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This week North Country Public Radio has been looking at the changing battle over land conservation. In northern New York and Vermont the amount of private and taxpayer dollars available for protecting open space has been cut dramatically by the sour economy.

This morning, we'll hear from one of the people on the front lines of the debate. Kim Elliman heads the Open Space Institute, an organization that helps to finance land conservation projects from Georgia to Maine.

OSI - as its known - has helped fund some of the biggest land deals in the Adirondacks: the Finch, Pruyn land deal, and the purchase of the Tahawus tract in the southern High Peaks in 2003. Elliman tells Martha Foley the economic model for protecting forests and farms has changed dramatically.

(Tomorrow, we'll hear from state Senator Betty Little, who opposes expanding the Adirondack forest preserve. She says the changing economy means that land conservation groups should shift their agenda.)

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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