MALT purchases conservation easements because permanently protecting the land from development has tremendous public benefits, immediate and long term. MALT fairly compensates landowners for the decrease in value of their property that comes with extinguishing development rights forever. The capital from a conservation easement transaction benefits the landowner and their family in an immediate way. What we often observe is a reinvestment of funds into the sustainability of the agricultural operation itself and infrastructure improvements.
But that is just the beginning of the story. Once a conservation easement is in place on a property, MALT staff and the farmers and ranchers really get to work, managing the land to sequester carbon, protect and improve creeks and streams, and implement cutting-edge and sustainable agricultural practices. What does this mean for the public, for Marin County residents? It means climate change mitigation, clean waterways, healthy ecosystems, protected habitat for native fish and wildlife, and scenic vistas. MALT easements also require continued agriculture, regardless of who owns the land in the future. For communities near and far this translates to continued access to healthy local produce, ethically-raised meats, climate-conscious wool products and world-famous cheese.