About Land Trusts

A land trust or conservancy is typically a nonprofit working with people who want to conserve land in their backyard and local community—protecting places like parks, waterways, areas with critical wildlife habitat, community gardens, working farms, restoration projects and more.

Land trusts often have a mission is to protect, preserve, and steward special lands, and working with willing landowners and various community partners. The two most widely used tools to accomplish this mission are a conservation easement or fee-title acquisition, both intent on protecting these lands in perpetuity.

From the coastal estuaries in Nehalem to the magnificent Wallowas, Oregon land trusts work to protect the unique character and beauty of our home. The twenty members of COLT are part of an extensive network of over 1,700 land trusts across the country that have collectively protected over 47 million acres.

By partnering with landowners, land trusts negotiate agreements that permanently protect special lands from future harm, ensuring that our majestic open spaces, the productivity of our agricultural lands, and the health of our streams and wildlife habitat are preserved far into the future. Most of Oregon’s trusts are rooted in their communities and deeply connected to local needs. In this way, they are well-equipped to identify land that offers critical natural habitat as well as land offering recreational, agricultural and other conservation value.

More information about land trusts and the conservation options they offer for landowners can be found here at the Land Trust Alliance.


SPRING CREEK PANORAMA 1 Deschutes Land Trust worked with private landowners to protect Spring Creek near the Metolius River. Photo by Jay Mather