When a property is protected by the Land Trust through a conservation easement, it is just the beginning of an enduring relationship between the Land Trust, the landowner, and the land itself. Each conservation property is unique, with its own set of conservation values designed to protect the open space, wildlife habitat, scenic views, and ranching heritage specific to the property. The day-to-day and on-the-ground partnership between the Land Trust and the landowner is our safeguard for ensuring that these conservation values are upheld, and this active stewardship is the backbone and integrity of our work.
Here are a few ways to discover more about our stewardship program:
The stewardship of our conserved properties is accomplished through our systematic and thorough monitoring program, which has received recognition in the greater land trust community. In addition, we thoughtfully evaluate landowner requests related to land use changes, interpret easement language, and resolve easement issues with the assistance and guidance of our Stewardship Committee. Together, we cultivate over 120 landowner relationships on over 200 easement areas.
Our stewardship staff also manages the fee simple lands owned by the Land Trust. Much of our land is leased to working ranches, which supports local agriculture and provides revenue to the Land Trust. We seek to be a model of good stewardship on these properties, evaluating our land management practices to ensure a healthy balance between agricultural productivity, quality habitat for wildlife, and scenic views.
We work to uphold the conservation values of protected properties by: