In 1997, after taking on management of 800 acres of land owned by The Nature Conservancy, the Elkhorn Slough Foundation adopted the mission to conserve and restore Elkhorn Slough and its watershed. The Foundation Board of Directors made the strategic decision to acquire, protect and manage land-thus becoming a member-supported land trust.
Today, the Elkhorn Slough Foundation owns nearly 2,600 acres and is the single largest land owner in the watershed. Additionally, we provide stewardship management for another 1,000 acres.
A land trust is a nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.
Land trusts work with landowners and the community to conserve land by accepting donations of land, purchasing land, negotiating conservation agreements on land (conservation easements), and stewarding conserved land through the generations to come.
A land trust works for conservation instead of the generation of profits through land sales.
Most land trusts are community-based and deeply connected to local needs, so they're well-equipped to identify land that offers critical natural habitat as well as land offering recreational, agricultural and other conservation value.
Land trusts may protect land through donation and purchase, or by working with landowners who wish to donate or sell conservation easements (permanent deed restrictions that prevent harmful land uses), or by acquiring land outright to maintain working farms, forests, wilderness, or for other conservation reasons.