A Landowner's Guide to Conservation Options

Each year, millions of acres are irretrievably altered worldwide. Today, more than ever, long-term protection of vital natural areas depends in part on the actions of private landowners with foresight.  You can help us protect land in Minnesota.

Ensuring that your land is protected in its natural state can bring many benefits. Perhaps the most gratifying is knowing that present and future generations will cherish the natural sanctuary that your actions made possible.

Of course, not every property is appropriate to set aside as a nature preserve. The Nature Conservancy has specific goals concerning protection of ecologically important natural areas and the preservation of biological diversity. Because the organization's resources are limited, the land's ecological significance must further our conservation goals in order to be acquired as a preserve.

However, even if you own land with little ecological value, such as developed real estate, you can donate it to the Conservancy. We will then sell the property and use the proceeds to buy targeted natural areas.  Such properties are known as "trade lands."

The Conservancy offers many options to private landowners. The following pages outline the benefits of working with the Conservancy and present a variety of tools that may be used to protect your property.  We hope this will provide a framework as you carefully consider the right option for your needs.

Protect Land While Transferring Title
Protect Land While Retaining Title
  • Conservation Easements
    • What Rights Does the Holder of the Conservation Easement Have?
    • What Rights and Duties Does the Landowner Retain?
    • What Restrictions Can a Conservation Easement Include?
    • What Are the Tax Considerations of Donating an Easement?
    • The Easement Document 

Return to the Land Conservation in Minnesota page.