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A. Strategic Conservation Planning

A. Strategic Conservation Planning

  • Identify specific conservation priorities consistent with the land trust’s mission and goals.


The land trust has identified specific natural, cultural or geographic areas where it will focus its work and may identify priority themes or sites within those focus areas.

Land trusts must engage in various levels of conservation planning. Planning should start with a strategic or long-range plan to guide all organizational activities. In addition to or as part of such a plan, land trusts should have a land protection strategy for their region. Such a strategy goes beyond the land trust’s project selection criteria to the identification of high- priority areas or specific natural or cultural resources that meet the mission and goals of the organization. These land protection strategies go by various names (strategic conservation plans, focus area plans and so forth) and may be in the form of written descriptions, maps or notes for internal guidance. Regardless of form or name, these priority or focus areas are the places where the land trust works proactively to accomplish its conservation goals. A focus area can encompass various ecological or cultural resources and overlap political jurisdictions, but generally has some cohesive element. Examples include a small watershed, an undeveloped stretch of shoreline, a cluster of farms or ranches, a grouping of prime agricultural soils, or a specific mountain peak. A land trust may have several focus areas within its operating territory.