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Why conserve land?
“Because they ain’t makin it anymore”—Mark Twain

TOOLS to preserve working landscapes & natural environments:

Land Trusts
A Land Trust works with landowners to help them become aware of conservation alternatives necessary to help protect land.  Land trusts acquire conservation easements, provide technical assistance and more. 

Conservation Easements
Conservation easements help to protect agricultural and range lands, historic and scenic sites, natural and wildlife habitats, and oak woodlands.

Conservation easements are a legal tool used to protect land and benefit landowners.  They are a voluntary deed restriction and can be sold or gifted.  Conservation easements do not convey the right of public access.  Restrictions on land use run with the deed and there are stewardship obligations.  It is a basic landowner’s right to conserve his property and limit land use. 

Williamson Act
The Williamson Act Program helps protect agricultural and open space land from premature and unnecessary urban development.  A Williamson Act contract is a legal document between a county and a landowner, with enforceable restrictions. It is a rolling term 10-year contract with tax benefits.  Only land located within an agricultural preserve is eligible for a Wm. Act contract.  About one half of all the state’s agricultural land is enrolled under contract.

Click here for Williamson Act info from the Dept. of Conservation, Division of Land Resource Protection, Sacramento (916) 324-0850

ORGANIZATIONS to contact for more information:

Mother Lode Land Trust, PO Box 1435, Jackson, CA 95642
(209) 419-2861. 

Foothill Conservancy, PO Box 1255, Pine Grove, CA 95665 (209) 295-4900

California Rangeland Trust, 1221 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 444-2096

The California Council of Land Trusts, 1107 9th St. Ste. 1050, Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 497-0272

Sierra-Cascade Land Trust Council, PO Box 2101, Nevada City, CA 95959 (530) 265-5965

American Farmland Trust, and


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