Planning for the future of our protected lands

Feb 22, 2016
When winter snows block access to Land Trust Preserves, we use this time to work on management plans for our protected lands. Every Land Trust protected property has a management plan that guides the future of the land.

When winter snows block access to Land Trust Preserves, we use this time to work on management plans for our protected lands. Every Land Trust protected property--Preserve or privately owned--has a management plan that guides the future of the land. These detailed documents:

    •    identify key conservation values
    •    outline how conservation values will be protected
    •    determine what, if any, resources need restoration or enhancement
    •    outline educational and recreational management


Land Trust management plans are updated every five years. This gives us a time to check in on the overall health of the property and see what might need changing. It also helps us maintain our National Accreditation and meet the requirements of certain funding partners like the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

Updating a management plan is more than just changing the date on a document. It is a time to see if we are meeting our mission. Have we protected the important fish and wildlife habitat? What sort of results have we seen from restoration efforts? Is there new science that might change our management techniques? Where do we want the property to be in five more years?

In the case of a privately-owned property where we hold a land preservation agreement, the updating process provides an opportunity to sit down with the landowner. Together we review management goals, strategies, accomplishments, and challenges and then work together to formulate future plans.

Management plan updating is just one great example of how we adapatively manage our protected lands. Science and nature are always changing, adaptive management helps us keep on the forefront of these changes.