Land is “protected” when it has been set aside, not to be developed. Depending on the circumstances, land protection can take different forms and require a variety of tools.
Natural Lands Trust preserves land by taking permanent ownership and by using conservation easements. We also help government and non-profit partners meet their open space preservation goals.
Natural Lands Trust is unique among the region’s conservation organizations because of our substantial commitment to owning land in perpetuity.
Today, we own and manage a network of 41 nature preserves totaling more than 21,000 acres. It spans 13 counties in two states and includes virtually every major ecosystem type in our region.
A conservation easement is a voluntary but legally-binding agreement that permanently limits a property’s use. Easements can either be donated to or purchased by an organization.
Natural Lands Trust holds 287 conservation easements and other restrictions on nearly 20,000 acres. The properties range from private estates to historic properties and former agricultural lands.
We often partner with non-profits and government agencies to help them preserve land. This can involve purchasing a property and then transferring ownership to the partner as we’ve done to add to places like French Creek State Park and Marsh Creek State Park. It can also involve in-depth consultations with local governments to help them implement open space programs or plan for growth.