Equine Land Conservation Resource

In spending its limited resources on grants to non-profits, USA Equestrian Trust ® seeks to make certain the money is productive across many equine disciplines and breeds. And among the top issues affecting all interested in equestrian sport is protecting farmland nationwide.

That’s why the Trust was pleased to grant $10,000 in 2011 to Equine Land Conservation Resource to support a series of regional forums on community land-use planning. The ELCR held its first such forum on March 10, 2012, at Shannondale Farm in Alpharetta, Georgia. 

Among the national presenters who spoke at the workshop were:

  • Dr. Tom Daniels of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Daniels is an author and specialist in rural and community planning and land conservation. He discussed the basics of comprehensive planning and zoning ordinance language.
  • Shannon Kettering of the Pond design firm and Steve Nygren, a developer and conservationist. Both spoke about the Chattahoochee Hill Country equine community. The community is one of the few remaining agricultural landscapes around Atlanta.
  • David Shannon, owner of Shannondale Farm. Shannon spoke about the Milton equine community master plan and the Milton-area Georgia Horse Park development.
  • Laurel Florio, an attorney and conservation easement expert. Florio presented a workshop on farmland protection through conservation easements followed by an interactive design charette for attendees.

All of the presentations were recorded and will be posted in various videos on ELCR’s website at www.elcr.org.

Around 50 people attended the forum with visitors coming from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. They represented a number of equine organizations such as the United States Hunter Jumper Association, United States Dressage Federation, American Driving Society and the Foothills Equestrian Trails Association of North Carolina.

Planning has already begun for additional forums that will continue the theme of community land use planning and incorporate new topics such as trail enhancement, farmland protection and best management practices.

The ELCR’s hope is that the forums will serve to educate and unify the horse community to act regionally on land conservation efforts and increase awareness of the economic, agricultural, sporting and recreational issues at stake.


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