The New River Land Trust (NRLT) provides outreach, education, facilitation and implementation services to landowners and others with an interest in conserving rural land and its natural and/or cultural resources.
Historically, the NRLT’s primary conservation tool has been donated conservation easements and providing information about how these easements work. Conservation easements protect land for future generations while allowing owners to retain certain property rights. Through an easement, landowners willingly sell or donate only those rights necessary to protect specific conservation values, such as:
- Protection of onsite water resources
- Endangered, threatened or rare species and natural communities
- Agricultural or forestry value
- Scenic character
- Prime farmland soils and soils of statewide importance
- Perennial and seasonal wetlands
- Value for maintaining regional water quantity and protecting water quality
- Historic and cultural value
- Wildlife corridor or specialized habitat
- Enhancement of other protected areas, such as state parks, national forests, already conserved private property, or Special Projects Areas (SPA’s).
- Protection of open spaces around developed areas
Easements are individually tailored to meet a landowner’s goals and the landscape’s needs. Because the land remains in private ownership, with the remainder of the rights intact, an easement property continues to provide economic benefits for the area in the form of jobs, economic production and property taxes. However, every piece of land and every landowner’s needs are unique. The NRLT works hard to find conservation options that fit each situation.