Questions that this tool can answer:
- In environmentally sensitive areas, what lands are already protected by conservation easements, and what lands should be targeted for further protection?
- What are land trusts in my area doing to help conserve land?
The National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) is the first national database of conservation easement information. This public-private partnership brings together national conservation groups, local and regional land trusts, and local, state and federal agencies around a common objective. The current NCED team, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and The Trust for Public Land, collaborates with a diverse range of organizations including the USGS Protected Areas Database, GreenInfo, and the Nature Conservancy to compile and standardize information about conservation easements throughout the U.S. in one place. The database currently contains information on more than 130,000 easements covering 24.7 million acres – roughly 60% of all easements in the U.S.
The National Conservation Easement Database can help land trusts and local governments inform conservation planning efforts. In addition to mapping tools, the database includes a search tool, interactive data tables, profiles of easement holders and the ability to download data. This can help landowners, land trusts and governments collaborate more effectively to protect wildlife corridors and other environmentally sensitive lands.
The Land Trust Alliance’s Find a Land Trust platform is a powerful complement to the NCED. This tool makes it easy for anyone across the country to locate a land trust near them. Land trusts listed within the tool offer a variety of ways people can get involved and support conservation in their community.
As land protection efforts like the America the Beautiful initiative get underway, the National Conservation Easement Database can also play a key role in tracking the important contribution that privately owned lands can play in meeting the ambitious goal to protect 30% of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030.
- This article highlights the role that conservation easements on privately owned land can play in helping the U.S. reach its goal to protect 30% of the country’s lands and waters by the year 2030.