What We Do

The Nebraska Land Trust uses voluntary land preservation agreements known as conservation easements which enable landowners to leave a permanent legacy of protected wildlife habitat, scenic views, clean water, historic sites, and working agriculture on their land. Easements legally protect these resources while being flexible enough to allow for other activities that are compatible with private land stewardship and conservation. In a sense, conservation easements represent the most basic of property rights – the right to determine the future of one’s land.

Our Heritage Ranch – Conserved in 2018

Our Impact

Agriculture: Private land conservation benefits us all. In Nebraska’s urban counties, the loss of virtually all agricultural land is a real possibility within the next 50 years, at a time when consumers are increasingly seeking locally grown food. Conservation easements can be used to preserve prime agricultural land near urban areas.

Water: When easements protect grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands, these lands can act as natural sponges that help to absorb pollutants and sediment carried in runoff, before it reaches our rivers and streams. Conservation easements are being used to retire pivot-irrigated acres in over-appropriated river basins like the Republican and Platte, helping to maintain flows in rivers that benefit fish, wildlife, people and surface irrigation.

Wildlife Habitat: In a state where 97% of the land is privately owned, private landowners are the key to conservation of our wildlife habitat. Conservation easements offer a voluntary, incentive-based approach to protecting wildlife habitat on private land which enhances public opportunities for wildlife viewing and hunting.

Scenic Views: Whenever people admire a scenic view in Nebraska, chances are that they are looking at some private land, if not all. Conservation easements preserve this “visual access” to scenic lands, which adds to the quality of life for all Nebraskans.

Our Projects

Nebraska Land Trust has conserved nearly 50,000 acres to date. Our easement projects include landscapes across the state, from the northwestern Pine Ridge region to the Lower Platte River Valley. Below are just a few private properties conserved by NLT.

H-Bar Ranch

Thomas County

Patterson Farm

Sarpy County

Graham Crowe Ranch

Holt County

Chief Dull Knife College

Sioux County

Turkey Creek Preserve

Washington County

Fedde Farm

Sarpy County

community conservation

Nebraska Land Trust takes a unique approach to land conservation.  We don’t tell people “This is what we’re looking to protect.” We believe in asking local residents, “What do you want to preserve that makes your region special?”  As the only nonprofit statewide land conservation organization started by Nebraskans, based in Nebraska, governed by Nebraskans, and dedicated to working with private landowners, the perspectives of local residents are of paramount importance to NLT. We created advisory committees in two key areas where there was a demonstrated need for conservation of privately owned landscapes. These committees are comprised of locals who help determine conservaiton priorities in the area. Two areas where these advisory committees have been established are the Pine Ridge and Lower Platte River Valley.