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  • Writer's pictureGrady Spann

The Forever Business of the Land Trust

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

I spent almost three decades with Arkansas State Parks focused on making a positive impact by growing access to outdoor recreation while preserving and protecting some of Arkansas’ most iconic and special places. In all that time, I didn’t have the opportunity to engage with the land trust community. If you were like me when I first read about NWALT’s work, you may have asked the question – What exactly is a land trust?

A title company? A real estate agency? A law office?

I want to share a little of what I’ve learned on how the Land Trust is helping preserve and enhance the quality of life for everyone in Northwest Arkansas.

After a quick Google search, defines a land trust this way - a charitable organization that acquires land or conservation easements, or that stewards land or easements, for conservation purposes.

While that definition does capture NWALT's mission in a nutshell, it doesn't fully convey the length of our stewardship. When the Land Trust partners with a private landowner on a conservation easement or accepts a land donation, it takes on the responsibility of ensuring the intent of land donor/owner are upheld in perpetuity.

That means we are in the forever business of protecting and conserving NWA's abundant natural beauty.

What makes NWALT unique and attractive to landowners, is they can tailor the conservation easement to reflect the land legacy they want to leave for future generations. The Land Trust can partner with landowners, communities, cities, and counties in protecting special places across NWA.

A landscape photo of Thunder Ridge Rance.  Bull Shoals Lake in the background, a forest in the foreground
Yellville residents Gerald and Dwan Garrison partnered with NWALT to forever protect the 900-acre Thunder Ridge Ranch located on Bull Shoals Lake in Marion County.

Our strategic land protection plan identifies priority areas that should be protected in Northwest Arkansas. The plan is based on areas and properties that impact the region's watersheds and water quality, natural habitats, clean air, and access to natural areas for recreation.

I hope you will join us in our mission to forever protect NWA land, water, and wildlife. You can start making an impact today by signing-up to volunteer out on the land, meeting new friends at a monthly membership event, or supporting the Land Trust through a financial donation. Landowners can read more about building a land legacy through a conservation easement here.


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