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Criteria for Land Preservation
The Rensselaer Land Trust is a nonprofit land trust organization (a 501c3 organization) formed in 1987 and chartered in March 1988. Its mission is to protect land and conserve natural resources of Rensselaer County including significant natural features, watersheds and sources of water, open space, natural habitats, and agricultural land.
The RLT uses a number of approaches to protect land. Primary among these tools is accepting donations of land and conservation easements. The RLT may use bargain sales or full purchases to protect land. Sometimes the RLT plays an intermediary role in protecting land for another entity such as a government body. The RLT also seeks to protect land by alerting landowners to unique features of their land, by introducing the public to Rensselaer County's natural treasures, and by educating public officials of the powers and tools available to them for land protection. These land protection tools are explained in further detail in the RLT's publications entitled A Landowner's Guide to Land Preservation Options and Questions and Answers on Conservation Easements. Both of these publications are available upon request.
In order to assign priority to lands that the RLT is considering for protection, its Board of Directors has approved a set of criteria to be used by the Acquisitions Committee to identify and target prospective properties. RLT will work with the landowner in formulating a plan to protect their properties.
If you would like to explore options for preserving your land and think it might fall within the RLT's criteria for preservation, contact us for a land evaluation. Written reports outlining a parcel's significant qualities and the reasons for accepting or declining it for preservation are prepared by the RLT's Acquisitions Committee and submitted to the Board of Directors and are available to the landowner. All discussions with the landowner remain confidential until a conservation easement is signed and recorded. Lands that do not meet preservation criteria can be donated to the RLT; proceeds from their subsequent resale will support the RLT's land preservation efforts.
The RLT's activities involve ongoing stewardship of donated lands and easements. Stewardship activities are funded by contributions from the general public, foundation, and donors of land and easements. Financial contributions for land management, maintenance, monitoring, and improvements are welcomed by the RLT and are tax-exempt as allowed by law.
The following qualities of significance are used by the Rensselaer-Taconic Land Conservancy to evaluate lands for preservation:
Scenic and Aesthetic