What is a conservation easement, and how does it work?

A MALT agricultural conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between MALT and a landowner. MALT easements prohibit nonagricultural residential and commercial development, subdivision and other uses or practices that are detrimental to the agricultural and natural resources values of the land. MALT easements are perpetual — they remain in effect on the land regardless of change in ownership.

By restricting certain uses, the easement lowers the value of the land. MALT purchases easements from landowners to compensate for the loss of that value; the landowner continues to own the land. Once the sale of an easement is final, MALT extinguishes the development rights on the protected farmland.

As part of this legal agreement, MALT performs annual monitoring visits, consults with landowners about permitted uses to uphold the terms of the easement and offers technical assistance for natural resource concerns.

You can read more about conservation easements here. In addition, know that MALT follows strict guidelines when obtaining appraisals to determine the purchase price of conservation easements and other real property acquisitions or transfers. An executive summary of MALT’s Appraisal Policy can be found here.



Schedule an informational call with Lauren Faccinto, MALT’s acquisitions program manager. You can contact her by phone at (415) 663-1158 ext. 302, or complete the simple form below and she’ll call you.


Complete the application.
Once you’ve completed your informational call with Lauren, the next step will be to complete the application and return it to MALT. The application form helps us gather more specific details about the property and your experience in agriculture. If questions arise along the way, Lauren is always available to help.

Once a complete application is submitted to MALT, you can expect to hear from us regarding next steps within 30 days.