One of the ways the Westchester Land Trust protects the land is through conservation easements. These are essentially, a voluntary legal agreement made between a property owner and a land trust or government agency that permanently restricts certain land uses and activities. Easements are practical and flexible tools that allow landowners to continue to own and use their land while preserving its conservation values.
Conservation easements are permanent and remain with the land even after it has been sold or willed to heirs. Easements preserve the unique conservation values of the land that provide public benefit, such as scenic vistas, wildlife habitat, watershed protection and recreational opportunities, and can allow for public access such as hiking, riding, or other activities if the landowner agrees.
There are few more enduring legacies than the permanent protection of natural lands and there is no better time than today to begin the process of donating a conservation easement. WLT has protected thousands of acres through the use of conservation easements and our staff would be delighted to speak with and work with you to achieve your objectives.
For more information about conservation easements, please contact John Baker, WLT’s Land Conservation Projects Manager, at 914.234.6992 ext 25.
Read Successful Easement Stories
A biologically diverse landscape is resilient to change and provides an insurance policy that the ecological services in our communities will continue, now and into the future.
An unprecedented expanse of habitat-rich forests and wetlands surrounding the Valeria community in Cortlandt has been protected forever by conservation easements, thanks to an agreement between AVR Homebuilders and Westchester Land Trust and its Cortlandt Land Trust chapter, in conjunction with the Town of Cortlandt and Valeria’s Dickerson Pond Association.
Doctor Lucy Waletzky’s easement borders Rockefeller State Park and is part of a much larger open space network in Pocantico Hills. The easement preserves the views of the thousands of people a year who use the carriage trails on Rockefeller State Park and also of the many motorists who travel Route 448 in Pocantico.
North Salem Open Land Foundation bought this preserve in 2005. The property has a mosaic of valuable plant and wildlife habitats – woodland, open field, wooded swamp and an open cattail marsh – all of which are bisected by or visible from a trail system that can accommodate walkers and riders.
Westchester Land Trust works with municipalities and local conservation groups to identify farmland for permanent protection. We help landowners protect their land and work with them to select a conservation strategy that best suits their needs and ensures the long-term protection of their land’s ecological and agricultural values.