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  • Writer's picturePam Nelson

Saving the Land You Love Starts with a Conversation

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

The Land Trust works tirelessly to ensure that important lands in Northwest Arkansas are forever protected for future generations. Our promise is conservation in perpetuity. So what does it actually mean to save land? How does the Land Trust work with private landowners?

Though the Land Trust accepts land donations and manages properties, often individuals want to protect their land while retaining ownership.

Deciding what will happen to their property after they are gone is a critical part of legacy planning for many families. Afterall, many landowners love their land, and they are wondering what the future holds for their property.

A conservation easement can be a great tool for helping people realize their long-term goals for their land. Conservation easements have been around for a long time, but I’ve found most people don’t quite understand how they work. At the heart of it, conservation easements are legal agreements between the Land Trust and the landowner that limit certain activities on the property, such as clearcutting and development. They are intended to protect the natural features of the land.

Landowners can still use their property enjoying the things they’ve always loved about their land. They can farm, manage forests, build trails, hunt, fish, and live on land. The property can be sold or passed to heirs. Memories continue to be made and passed down through the generations.

Even though a conservation easement is tied to a specific property and public access is not required in the agreement, the benefits of private land conservation extend to the community at large. When landowners participate in conservation programs, their commitment helps keep our drinking water clean and protects wildlife habitat.

A white barn among trees on a snowy day
Anne Prichard, a third-generation steward, protected her 168-acre Historic Johnson Farm through a conservation easement with NWALT. Photo by Amanda Bancroft

Family farms are protected ensuring the availability of land for local food production at a time where agricultural lands are being turned into subdivisions and shopping centers at a rapid rate. Land conservation also provides a natural solution to changing climate conditions, buffering the impacts of climate change.

And it all starts with a conversation. If you or someone you know is considering learning more about conservation, give us a call at 479-966-4666 or connect with us by email at

We always welcome the opportunity to get out on the land and tour properties with no commitment from the landowner. We love learning with community members as we grow this movement. To learn more and to hear from other landowners who have put their land under easement click here.


1 Comment

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