NYALT works with landowners, at their request, to protect the working landscapes important to Upstate New York’s rural agricultural economy and quality of life. NYALT’s conservation projects conserve high-quality farmland and supporting woodlands, with projects ranging from dairy farms to diversified farming operations. In all cases, the farmers and landowners want to conserve their land for the next generation. They know that once good land is lost to development, it will never come back into agriculture. These farmers are creating a legacy, ensuring that their land will be available for agriculture in the future.
There is no specific or minimum amount of land required to be part of a conservation easement project with NYALT. However, each conservation easement project must ensure that the agricultural land may be a viable farming operation into the future. This means that each project requires its own specific evaluation and conservation plan.
Agricultural easements are flexible, and allow for a limited number of reserved house sites to be retained as part of the easement for future sale or farm parcels. In addition, NYALT’s easement allows for home-based businesses, agricultural businesses, the production of alternative energy (with some limitations on impervious surfaces), and gas and sub-surface mineral exploration (with performance standards to ensure that the conservation of the property and its soils are respected).
Conservation easements can be donated or sold. NYALT works with landowners interested in conserving their land to determine which conservation options are available to meet the goals of the landowner and the land trust. Often this involves working with local, state and federal partners to secure funding for the project.
Farms We've Protected
Safeguarding our Farmland for Tomorrow
By accepting a conservation easement, NYALT is committing to the long term obligation to ensure that the terms of the easement are upheld. The land trust works directly with our conservation easement landowners helping to answer questions and provide resources for the management of their land. Maintaining good relationships and open communication with conservation easement landowners ensures that we are working as conservation partners. If you have questions about your conservation easement, or would like information, please contact Brandy Colebrook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When working with new landowners on conservation easements, NYALT prepares a Baseline Documentation Report with maps and photographs that represent the condition of the property at the time of the recording of the conservation easement and can be used to monitor changes to the land over time. To meet our stewardship responsibilities, NYALT conducts monitoring of its conservation easement properties annually. We give notice to landowners beforehand and always welcome the opportunity to have them walk the property with NYALT’s staff or Board members.
In order to offset the costs of monitoring and enforcing the conservation easements, NYALT requests that our conservation easement donors contribute to the Stewardship Fund. The amount requested is based on the annual costs to monitor and oversee each easement. This Fund helps ensure that the intent of the conservation easement is protected for generations to come.