Our Process

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SDALT works to assist South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers in achieving their conservation and operational goals. We help conserve agricultural landscapes and economically viable farms and ranches through voluntary, incentive-based methods.

SDALT does not actively pursue conservation easements. Rather, we provide tools to help landowners pursue their conservation goals.

 

The basics

  1. A landowner seeks to retain land in a natural or agricultural condition.
  2. The owner contacts SDALT to begin exploring the possibility of developing an easement on all or part of the property.
  3. If the property meets resource protection and project feasibility criteria, SDALT works with the landowner to develop the legal framework to complete the easement agreement. The easement may be donated or sold, with the value determined by an independent appraiser.
  4. The original owner retains the right of access and right to exclude.
  5. The Land Trust receives the right to prevent all or some development on the property, as specified in the easement agreement.
  6. The conservation easement spells out exactly what rights the owner retains and what rights are conveyed to SDALT.

The easement may be for a certain length of time or may be perpetual.