Our culture, our community, our sense of place. These are all tied inextricably to the land. The Land Trust Program seeks to protect those incredibly special places that contribute to the culture and sense of place of their communities.
Upstate Forever was awarded Accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2008, proving we meet the highest standards of our profession.
Upstate Forever currently holds 108 agreements (also known as conservation easements), protecting over 20,000 acres across the Upstate. Others are in progress. While most of these are on privately owned and privately managed land, some are on parks and other public access land.
Why Protect Private Land?
If you live in the Upstate, whether you are aware of it or not, you enjoy tremendous benefits from the protection of privately owned land. While some of these properties offer limited public access, other less publicized but no less important benefits include protection of viewsheds from scenic highways or public parks, improvement of air and water quality, habitat for flora and fauna, and the preservation of historic and cultural resources, among others.
The conservation agreement, the primary land protection method used by Upstate Forever, is a great tool for the private landowner who wants to save his or her land from the threat of future development while still continuing to own and manage the land. Click the button on this page to see examples of the diverse properties whose owners chose to partner with Upstate Forever to ensure their permanent protection.