A Conservation Easement permanently limits certain uses of the land and defines the allowable uses and any management and monitoring requirements for the parcel.  Easements may be required as part of the regulatory process in order to protect conservation values, or they may be voluntarily placed on parcels chosen for their ecological importance.  A landowner can use an Easement to protect the desired characteristics and uses of the property.  Easements allow landowners to continue to own and use their land as defined within, and they can also sell it or pass it on to heirs.  The values protected under a Conservation Easement “run with the land” and therefore exist in perpetuity.

A non-profit land trust organization

Specializing in the responsible stewardship of lands preserved in the urban matrix

environmental stewardship

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California Open Lands has specialized in the management challenges and ecological benefits of holding easements that have been created as an outcome of the regulatory process.  These are often small and within an urban matrix and thus present unique management challenges.  With our specialized experience, we are able to evaluate the benefits of preserving these smaller acreages.  Protecting these parcels often results in connection between larger tracts of open space allowing the movement and migration of birds, animals, and insects, providing a connection between populations. 

In 2019, Butte County released millions of gallons of leachate contaminated stormwater from their Neal Road Landfill Facility into downstream wetlands and the Hamlin Slough, polluting waters downstream in Durham and eventually Butte Creek and the Sacramento River. California Open Lands is engaged in legal action to hold the County responsible, in order to stop these discharges and groundwater contamination. 

"They're Failing Us" March 2020:


"Diryting the Waters" February 2020


Our post-Camp Fire reality has changed the way humans interact with and live on the landscape; it forces the recognition that we do not live in isolation from our environment:

"Healing Together" November 2018: