Land Conservation with Eastern Sierra Land Trust

How We Work

As the only land trust focused on California’s Eastern Sierra, ESLT works with willing landowners who wish to explore options for permanently preserving their land.  ESLT also assists land management agencies and others in preserving land where there is significant public benefit and important resources.  We don’t engage in public advocacy, preferring to work directly with landowners who have chosen land trust tools to build permanent preservation into the future of their land.

ESLT’s specialized service utilizes a variety of skills, an extensive network of connections to agencies, legal experts, and funding sources, and a deep knowledge of the resources found on the land here, including an awareness of the issues facing private landowners in the Eastern Sierra.

Through the extensive and varied skills of the ESLT Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Lands Committee, and staff, ESLT brings to each project:

  • Experience in completing projects on agricultural, habitat, open space, and scenic properties
  • Knowledge of local land issues and agencies
  • Experience with a variety of funding agencies and other partners
  • Ability to provide basic information about tax benefits of conservation options
  • Connections to an array of expert legal, tax, estate, and other specialists
  • Knowledge of real estate transaction process and real estate options
  • Maintenance of an established Stewardship Program to ensure that conserved lands are maintained as intended by the conservation agreement
  • ESLT has adopted the Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices, which guides us in our evaluation of potential projects and any ultimate transactions, and is in the process of becoming an accredited land trust

Every landowner has different needs, hopes, and plans for their land, but ESLT has a standardized process for evaluating each land conservation project for feasibility and consistency with our mission and goals.  Our Lands Committee and staff carefully evaluate each potential project to ensure it involves significant conservation values, with final approval for projects coming from our Board of Directors.

Once a project has initial approval, work continues between ESLT staff and the landowners to identify the best tool for preservation and to implement the plan for completing the project. ESLT utilizes specialized legal counsel for drafting conservation agreements and recommends that landowners bring in the necessary expertise to make sure that their interests are well represented.