First Rural Custodian in the province of Chubut and the only one in Argentina.
The private ranch Sierras del Sur and the Provincial Government agreed to carry out a management plan for tourism, thereby preserving, protecting the area and enhancing the tourism value of the petrified forest. Therefore, under the legal concept of Rural Custodian, the Petrified Forest Florentino Ameghino, located in the Lower Valley of the Chubut River and covering an area of 223 hectares, has been designated for the purpose of conservation, protecting and using the area as a tool to value territorial heritage for tourism.
Being considered a non-renewable natural resource and part of the cultural-paleontological heritage, there are several scientific and academic activities, as well as heritage protection and educational activities, which are carried out in order to promote coordinated action between scientific research and its applicability to tourism projects.
The Petrified Forest FA obtained the status of rural custodian which implies the existence of a Management Plan developed with scientific input and a tourism development with investment in infrastructure and services, coordinated and controlled by the Government as the primary responsible for the preservation of heritage.
LAW XXIII Nº 26
Decree. nº 1849/09
This law is the result of a proposal for sustainable use model between private and public sector in the province of Chubut.
Chubut Province: A recent provincial law created the Provincial Natural Protected Areas System, which includes all of the current Natural Tourism Reserves and future Natural Protected Areas. The latter areas can be either public or private, but their management must follow state guidelines with an ultimate goal of conservation of biodiversity or natural or cultural resources. By landowner request, private areas can become part of the Provincial Protected Areas System. The law also anticipates fiscal and economic incentives to promote private conservation.
INCENTIVES FOR PRIVATE LANDS CONSERVATION
Due to the economic crisis in Argentina, there are few opportunities to create economic incentives such as tax incentives for private lands conservation. The following incentives systems have been established, but are used infrequently or not at all.
Fiscal incentives: These incentives, such as tax exemptions are the most common incentives in Argentina, though effective are limited given the fairly inefficient tax system. The provinces of Buenos Aires, Chubut, Entre Ríos, Misiones, and Río Negro all have laws granting tax incentives for private conservation. In Salta, a tax exemption is granted for a maximum of 20 years, except for taxes on economic activities, which last only 10 years.
Service Incentives: Chubut Province’s Rural Custody program has a system where the Provincial Tourism Organization provides technical and scientific assistance at a landowners request and will include the private land in its tourism promotions.