Land trusts pooling money to pay for court battles

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Updated: 5/06/2013 10:11 am

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A national conservation that helps local, nonprofit land trusts buy up property to protect natural resources is creating a first-of-its-kind liability insurance company to help them cover the costs of legal battles with developers.

More than 420 land trusts protecting a total of more than 6 million acres in 46 states -- including California, Nevada and Utah -- are joining efforts with the national Land Trust Alliance to form the company, Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC.

Alliance president Rand Wentworth says the new concept allows land trusts to pool their resources and help level the playing field in legal fights with "wealthy developers who want to pave over paradise."

The land trusts protect everything from forests, parks and shorelines, to farms, gardens and historic battlefields.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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