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Statement of The Nature Conservancy on New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. vs. The Town of Hawley

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts decision recognizes the broad public benefits from conservation.


May 15, 2014

The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts is pleased that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has decided in favor of upholding the long-standing precedent of tax exemption for conservation nonprofits.

This decision in New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. vs. The Board of Assessors of the Town of Hawley, issued May 15, is a clear affirmation of the important public service that conservation organizations provide.

The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts filed an amicus brief in the case last year, supporting NEFF’s assertion that conservation lands are tax-exempt.

The decision recognizes the broad public benefits from conservation, including clean air and water, carbon sequestration and healthy forests, while allowing conservation organizations to fulfill their missions, as their charitable donors intend.


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org

Contact information

Misty Edgecomb
The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts
(617) 532-8317
medgecomb@tnc.org

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