State trust protected nearly 5,000 acres last year January 26, 2010 at 3:59 PM EST - Updated June 19 at 2:56 PM CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A land preservation trust in South Carolina says it reached agreement to protect nearly 5,000 acres from development last year. That pushed the organization past the 80,000-acre mark in its 24-year history. The trust works to develop what are called conservation easements with property owners. Those agreements prevent commercial development of the lands. The trust's Margaret Blackmer says the agreements help preserve the unique rural nature of the area. The biggest agreements last year involved 1,800 acres in Colleton County. Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.