Conservation Easements

A Flexible Tool

A conservation easement is a flexible tool that the McKenzie River Trust uses to protect land with willing landowners in western Oregon.

Conservation easements are legal agreements that permanently limit uses of the land in order to protect unique conservation values. Easements often limit new development while allowing landowners to continue traditional uses such as farming, ranching, and timber management. Conservation easements are tailored to each landowner’s needs, so no two easements are the same.

In all cases, when the McKenzie River Trust completes a conservation easement, the goal is to preserve clean water, abundant habitat for fish and wildlife, and productive natural landscapes. Protecting these conservation values is our mission.

View a Map of our Protected Properties


Protecting land for future generations

Conservation easements are perpetual, ensuring that the intent of the landowner who granted the easement is honored forever. The McKenzie River Trust regularly visits each of our conservation easements to meet with the landowner and monitor the easement to make sure its terms are being followed. The landowner is responsible for managing the property. The McKenzie River Trust must ensure that the organization has adequate financial resources to monitor our easements now and in the future.


The McKenzie River Trust works closely with our local Watershed Councils and other partners to direct private landowners to technical assistance and funding to put their land management priorities into action.

Organizations that are partners in our conservation easements include:

  • Coast Fork Watershed Council
  • Long Tom Watershed Council
  • Siuslaw Watershed Council
  • McKenzie Watershed Council
  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • USDA National Resources Conservation Service
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Eugene Water and Electric Board
  • Blue River CDC
  • Audubon Society of Portland