Every five years, the Land Trust Alliance conducts a national census to measure the collective impact land trusts have on their communities and in every region of the country. The results of the 2015 Census were released in November 2016 with data through December 31, 2015.

Select a state to view detailed Census results


  • 163 full-time and 66 part-time staff
  • 433 board members
  • 15,285 volunteers
  • 22,662 members/financial supporters

Acres of Land Protected

Under easement




Acquired and reconveyed


Protected by other means


Total acres protected


A conservation easement (also known as a conservation restriction or conservation agreement) is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Acres conserved by other means refers to land protected as a result of the activities of the land trust, but which the land trust did not directly acquire in fee or under easement. In some instances, the total may be greater than the sum of the separate categories due to organizations that provided total acres not broken down by category.

Percent of Conserved Land

Held by an accredited land trust (i.e., total acres under easement and owned)

Land Service Area Breakdown

(Respondents could select more than one category)

Public Access

Acres owned by land trusts with public access


Number of visitors to land trust properties per year


Every parcel of land conserved by land trusts provides a benefit to the public. While the majority of land owned by Alliance-member land trusts allow public access for outdoor recreation and educational uses, not all land is suitable for public access. For example, when protecting sensitive habitats for wildlife or plant species, public access could damage the resource that is being protected. If a land trust owns working lands—farms, ranches, or forest land—that are under active management, it may not be safe or consistent with resource management to provide public access. Public access figures are estimated, reflecting data from Alliance-member land trusts.

Conservation Priorities

Important natural areas or wildlife habitats

Water quality, including wetlands

Scenic views or landscapes

Land Trust Maturity



Median age:

Did You Know?

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Total acres protected


Number of active land trusts



  • 163 full-time and 66 part-time staff
  • 433 board members
  • 15,285 volunteers
  • 22,662 members/financial supporters
  • 74,964 visitors to land trust properties