Protecting land is easier when using the right tool.
There are many circumstances that influence the appropriate tool for protecting a certain property. In most cases a conservation easement is the right way to go. A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement in which the landowner permanently limits the type and amount of development that can take place on a parcel of land. This agreement requires the Land Trust to protect the land forever, even when ownership of the land changes. Sometimes, the Land Trust purchases a conservation easement. More often, however, a landowner will donate an easement in order to place protective restrictions on future uses of their land.
Some landowners would prefer to transfer fee ownership of the land to the Land Trust or to use the Trust as a broker for the transfer of land to another protection agency. Land acquisitions can result from the strategic, proactive identification of parcels in need of protection; other times the impetus comes from a landowner seeking to preserve cherished lands. To acquire fee ownership we may purchase the land, accept a donation of land or of the funds to purchase that land, or accept a bequest.