The San Juan Preservation Trust protects private land in the San Juan Islands in (essentially) two ways:
Approach #1: We own land.
In this approach, SJPT purchases land or receives donations of land. Like any other private landowner, we are then responsible for the long-term care of these properties, which we call our “preserves.”
For more information about donating or selling your land, see these links:
Approach #2: We hold conservation easements on land.
A conservation easement is a voluntary, legally-binding and perpetual agreement that we make with a private landowner that identifies and protects specific conservation values on their property. The landowner may continue to own, enjoy, sell or bequeath the land, but its use is forever subject to the terms of the conservation easement. We will sometimes purchase conservation easements, but most of the easements that we hold today have been donated to us by landowners that wish to ensure that the properties they have cherished during their lifetime will remain permanently protected for future generations.
For more information about conservation easements, see this link: Conservation Easements
Other Options for Land Conservation
There are a number of variations on the above approaches that our donors have employed over the years, including a bequest of land or a conservation easement in a will and donations of land with reserved life estates (which can allow you to enjoy an immediate charitable tax deduction and continue to live on your property through your lifetime).
More details about these and other conservation techniques are provided here.