Conserve Your Land
We work with visionary landowners to conserve the lands they value. With a deep connection to their land, ranchers and farmers know the gifts undeveloped lands provide their community: clean air and water, fresh food, wildlife habitat, and sheer scenic beauty.
Protect the land you love, forever
Conservation easements for long-term land conservation
The landowners we work with are taking a stand to safeguard the places they love—productive ranchlands and farms, meadows, forests, and wetlands—for their family and for future generations.
The tool we use to protect these private lands—a conservation easement—is a legal agreement between a willing landowner and the Land Trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. It allows landowners to continue to own and use their land, and they can also sell it or pass it on to heirs. Owners who create conservation easements may receive substantial tax benefits.
I’m happy the land trust is working with farmers and ranchers who are already taking good care of their land. We’ve been doing it for years, and do it well, so these easements are a great way to promote local livelihoods while maintaining natural resources. That is a good thing.
—Gary Romano, owner of Sierra Valley Farms
How conservation easements work
Life as a conservation easement landowner
Conservation easements work best when landowners want to continue to own and manage their property. When you encumber your property with a conservation easement, you retire some of the rights associated with the land. For example, the rights to subdivide and develop a property are limited or extinguished by a conservation easement, as are other potentially harmful rights, such as the right to conduct large-scale mining. The easement may designate a maximum number of additional homes that can be built on the property. Rights that are retained include most uses supportive of the owner’s quiet enjoyment of the property, along with rights to continue grazing cattle and producing food.
The easement becomes part of the property title in perpetuity and the Land Trust ensures that the terms of the easement are honored by current and future owners. Under a conservation easement, the property can be sold, leased or kept in agricultural production and bequeathed to heirs.
The landowner continues to own the land that is subject to the conservation easement, while the Land Trust is charged with monitoring the property to make sure its natural resources are being protected and that the terms of the easement aren’t being violated.
Conservation easements can be tailored to protect important wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, agricultural land, and rural character, while also allowing the landowner to continue working the land. Generally, conservation easements don’t allow public access unless specifically permitted by the landowner.
Learn more about conservation easements
The Land Trust Alliance offers in-depth information on conservation easements and steps landowners and communities can take to protect publicly important places. For a copy of the Trust Alliance’s booklet “Conservation Options: A Landowner’s Guide,” call our office at (530) 283-5758 or visit the Land Trust Alliance website.
A special opportunity: Wetland Reserve Easements
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of a Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE). For more information and to apply, visit the NRCS Wetland Reserve Easement webpage.
FRLT's role after conservation
A mutual agreement for long-term stewardship
When FRLT protects a property with a conservation easement, the landowners remain the stewards of the land, while FRLT's responsibility is to "steward" the easement that we hold.
Is your land a fit?
What type of property is appropriate for protection with a FRLT conservation easement?
We evaluate each property individually after careful investigation of its resources and qualities. Sometimes one factor alone is enough to merit protection, other times several factors combine to make the property important to conserve. A property may be a good candidate for protection with a Feather River Land Trust conservation easement if it meets the following guidelines:
In Feather River Watershed
Conserving the property is consistent with the mission of FRLT and the property is within the Feather River Watershed
Conserving the property will provide significant public benefit in one or more category: ecological, cultural/historical, educational, scenic/open space, and recreational
Size + Intactness
The land is of sufficient size that its conservation resources are likely to remain intact, even if adjacent properties are developed
The land contains resources unique to and characteristic of the Feather River Watershed
There is funding available for acquisition of the conservation easement and its long term monitoring
FRLT has the resources and capacity to fulfill any and all stewardship responsibilities associated with the easement
Curious about protecting your land?
How to get started
Most land conservation projects take about 2-3 years to complete. As a lean nonprofit, the number of new projects we can take on each year is limited. However, we know that sometimes when a special place is threatened, time is of the essence.
If you’re interested in working with us to protect your land, please give us a call at (530) 283-5758 or get started with the form below.
Conserved Ag Lands
Church RanchConservation Focus
Diamond G RanchConservation Focus
Hill RanchConservation Focus
Potter 8 RanchConservation Focus
Pearce Family RanchConservation Focus
Rogers Key Brand RanchConservation Focus
Sierra Valley FarmsConservation Focus
Genasci RanchConservation Focus
Trosi Canyon RanchConservation Focus
Balderston RanchConservation Focus
Harris RanchConservation Focus
Loyalton Learning LandscapeConservation Focus
Puma Robles RanchConservation Focus
Sierra Valley PreserveConservation Focus
Bucks LakeConservation Focus
Leonhardt Ranch Learning LandscapeConservation Focus
Heart K RanchConservation Focus
We’re Built to Last
The Feather River Land Trust is an accredited member of the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization working with more than 1,700 land trusts to promote voluntary private land conservation to benefit communities and natural systems.
We leverage donations with state, federal, and foundation dollars and strategic partnerships to achieve the greatest possible impact for the lands, waters, and people of the Feather River region.