Land Conservation: How Does it Work?

With a conservation easement on your land, you are assured that the land will be protected forever without giving up ownership of the land. Landowners who enter into this agreement with us continue to own the conserved property and pay property taxes, yet are free to sell the land or pass it on to the next generation. Public access is not a requirement of a conservation easement.

Conservation easements are very flexible, and tailored to each landowner and property. For example, a landowner may want to retain the right to farm or harvest timber, retain future building rights, or use the land for education and other activities that sustain the property’s special resources. These details are worked out between the landowner and the Land Trust.

A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement made between the landowner and Bitter Root Land Trust that limits the development rights on your property. This is done to protect the natural, agricultural, scenic, or historic values inherent to the farms, forests, rivers and streams, and wildlife of the Bitterroot Valley.

Once finalized, a conservation easement will be tied to the land, whether the land is sold or remains in the family. This legal continuity will provide you the assurance that the land you cared for will be protected forever.

If you own land and would like to see it protected, the Bitter Root Land Trust can tailor a conservation easement to meet your needs. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.

Feel free to call, email, or stop by the office to discuss conservation easement options. Contact Melissa Odell, Conservation Director, at (406) 375-0956 or email her at

Ready to get started?

To find out if a conservation easement is right for you and your land, get started today by filling out BRLT’s Property Inquiry Form to tell us a little bit about your property and your conservation goals. A member of the BRLT Lands Team will be in touch with you after reviewing your submission to discuss next steps.

Project Inquiry Form

Not local to the Bitterroot Valley?

Visit the Land Trust Alliance website to find your local land trust.


Landowner’s Guide to Conservation Easements

A introduction to conservation easements for landowners.