The Partnership of Rangeland Trusts (PORT) is an association of locally-based, agriculturally-oriented land conservation organizations established to leverage resources to enhance the voluntary conservation and stewardship of America's ranchlands. All participating organizations share the unique characteristic of working from within the agricultural community by having associations with their state livestock organization wither through direct affiliations or cooperative agreements. Members are national leaders in both the agricultural and land conservation fields, holding more than 1,190 conservation easements on more than 1.9 million acres of land. Nationally, this represents roughly one in every six acres currently protected through conservation easements held by private, non-profit organizations. PORT understands the important role private lands have had in the founding of our country and to its existing and future economies and environmental prosperity. Conservation tools promoted by PORT strike a balance between ensuring that the natural and productive values of the land will endure, while providing the flexibility landowners need in the day-to-day management of their operations. Furthermore, PORT members do not endorse mechanisms which diminish the private land base nor local tax roles.



The Power of Leveraging
Land Trust Alliance

Operating Principles

Members PORT work to conserve un-fragmented agricultural landscapes and economically viable ranches through voluntary, incentive-based methods. In order to support this conservation approach, members of PORT agree to adhere to the following operating principles:

  1. Pursuit of conservation mechanisms that support the long-term protection of agricultural land, but do not adversely impact on the landowner's day-to-day management decisions;
  2. Non-participation in conservation efforts that result in a new increase in public lands or employ any type of condemnation action;
  3. Recognition of the role of sustainable land uses as a means of maintaining open and productive landscapes;
  4. Refusal of the acquisition of conservation easements with the intent to transfer to governmental ownership;
  5. Respect the rights of individual landowners to make descisions regarding public access issues on private lands;
  6. Avoidance of fee title ownership as a means of land conservation, with the exception of the brief periods necessary to facilitate the transfer of land into private ownership; and
  7. Acceptance of conservation easements on properties which represent a significant contribution to agriculture by themselves, as a part of a ranch, or to the surrounding agricultural community.


What is a conservation easement?

  • Voluntary agreements that limit the amount and type of development on a property
  • Individually tailored for landowner and features of the property
  • Attached with the land’s title, regardless of ownership
        Partnership of Rangeland Trust 2015