Land Trust Division - Conservation Easements    

The oldest cypress tree in Louisiana and the largest live oak in Orangeburg County, South Carolina (Both are on easements held by Conservation Force).

Program Purpose

Conservation Force's primary mission includes the conservation of wild places, wildlife, and a sporting way of life. Thus, Conservation Force is a land trust. We hold conservation easements to maintain wild places in their natural condition for wildlife on private lands. We also hold mitigation bank easements to restore and protect the natural, scenic, or open space values of land. View the Conservation Easements brochure.

 

Why do we do this? For the same reason, we are a conservation organization. We are saving land for hunters now and in the future. Hunting cannot be saved, much less game to hunt, without saving the habitat necessary for both. Habitat is essential. It is the root of all biodiversity.

 

I have a home all to myself; it is nature.
- Henry David Thoreau, Journal, January 3, 1853

 

It is the end of a family when they begin to sell the land. Out of the land we came and into it we must go, and if you will hold your land you can live.

- Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth, 1931

 

To leave something in "the woods" for our children we must pass-down "the woods."
- Chrissie Jackson

 

Conservation Force is a Patron of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and John J. Jackson, III is a founding board member and past president of that foundation. It too holds select conservation easements within the State of Louisiana.

 

We have expanded into other states and hope to expand in foreign lands that have legal provisions for conservation easements. The easements are created by donating development rights on private land to a non-profit, public charitable organization such as Conservation Force. The donation of these rights is a tax-deductible, charitable contribution for the landowner and serves wildlife conservation and the public good by preserving and/or restoring the land to its wild state forever. To date, many of Conservation Force's land and easement holdings are on rivers, streams, and waterways. That fits well with the Scenic River Act that was designed to help preserve valuable river borders, and with recovery efforts for the "threatened" listed Louisiana black bear. Conservation Force has long been a member and partner of the Louisiana Black Bear Conservation Committee, which was selected and cited as a model at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation. 

See what National Wild Turkey Federation thinks..

Conservation Force continues to develop its land trust division. More private landowners are considering donation of conservation easements to Conservation Force. We can also serve as a land trust for organizations that support us and desire or need to partner to save habitat.

 

In August 2008, the Delta Land Trust added to that growth by making a $10,000 contribution to Conservation Force in a ceremony at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Baton Rouge. Delta Land Trust is a long-established easement bank in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana where Conservation Force's land holdings and easements presently exist.

  
 

Delta Land Trust

Delta Land Trust making contribution to Conservation Force

Interactive Map of Easements

 

List of Land Conservation Easements 

La Petite Riviere Conservation Easement
704.49 Acres (1999) located in Avoyelles Parish, LA (31.1658389, -91.9342806)
 
This easement is in the Atchafalaya River Basin and the Petite Riviere is a tributary of the Red River.  The property is located approximately eight miles northeast of Marksville and between Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge and five Louisiana State Wildlife Management Areas.  The area includes oak/hickory forest with cypress swamps, lakes, and waterways.  The easement includes a contiguous tract and then three largely riparian tracts that connect import wildlife areas.

La Petite Riviere

The La Petite Riviere Conservation Easement is located between Lake Ophella National Wildlife Refuge and Spring Bayou State Wildlife Managment Area

Dugas Waterfrontage Conservation Easement 221.96 Acres (1999) located in Avoyelles Parish, LA (31.1863611, -91.9126361) 

Tracts 1, 2, and 3 total 221.96 acres. The three tracts help fill a missing link in the corridor between Lake Ophelia NWR and Spring Bayou WMA. The servitude also helps with recovery of the "threatened" Louisiana black bear. The Black Bear Conservation Committee is partnering with the landowner and has planted 130 acres of hardwood seedlings in the area. 

The three tracts of the Dugas Waterfrontage Conservation Easement are located beside Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge 

1. Tract 1 is contiguous to over a hundred acres of land enrolled in the Wetlands Reserve Program.

2. Tract 2 is contiguous to the Lake Ophelia NWR, which contains over 17,000 acres of publicly owned land dedicated to conservation.

3. Tract 3 is contiguous to 192.6 acres of land that is enrolled in the Wetlands Reserve Program. The WRP acreage is in turn contiguous to 704.49 acres of land subject to a conservation easement in favor of Conservation Force.

Tangipahoa River Island & Shoreline

4.760 acres (2001) located in Tangipahoa Parish, LA (30.405008, -90.325513)

This is a cypress swamp just above Lee's Landing, owned in full by Conservation Force.

Virginia Bruns Marshall "The Bottoms" Conservation Easement

295.31 acres (2007)  located in St. Francisville Parish, LA (30.894013, -91.383977)

Located near William Creek and U.S. Highway 61. These bluff lands offer a diverse habitat that supports some species of plants and animals not found elsewhere in Louisiana. 

Zachary Mitigation Area Copper Mill Bayou Conservation Easement

72.268 acres (2009) located in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA
(30.6800500, -91.1465250)

 

In a mitigation bank, land is frequently returned from a cultivated state to its natural state. This parcel was converted from cleared land to hardwood forest.  This parcel borders Copper Mill Bayou and part of the Amite River Watershed. As easement holder Conservation Force ensures the land is converted then maintained in its natural state. 

Zachary Mitigation Area Comite Flats I Conservation Easement
100.756 acres (2010) located in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA
(30.6640611, -91.0694722)

 

Spruce-pine hardwood flat and bottomland hardwood forest restoration in the Amite River Basin. 

Zachary Mitigation Area Comite Flats II Conservation Easement

107.438 acres (2010) located in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA
(30.6640611, -91.0694722)

Bottomland and hardwood forest restoration in the Amite River Basin.

Bossier City/ Barksdale Easement

294.494 acres (2010) located in Bossier Parish, LA
(30.6640611, -91.0694722)

 

The easement is adjacent to the South Bossier Park and near the Red River National Wildlife Refuge on the Red River.

Acadian Haynesville Extension Easement
176.1 acres (2010) located in Rapides Parish, LA (31.199624, -92.446775)

This easement has been planted with cypress and tupelo trees. 

The Bluffs I, II, III, IV Nature Area

453 acres (2010, 2011, 2017 and 2019) located in Thompson Creek, West Feliciana Parish, LA 

 

We have accepted several easements from Dodson & Sons in Baton Rouge, which will preserve the beautiful natural qualities of land along the Thompson's Creek. The grantor explained his desire to donate the easements in the following email: 

 

Dear John:

Thanks for your e-mail and all your assistance with the two conservation easements [at the time now there are 3]. I sincerely appreciate all you and your wife have done to make these easements possible. I think they have helped West Feliciana Parish immensely, along with The Bluffs subdivision. My entire family feels good knowing that these two tracts of approximately 170 acres will eventually be a forest on the banks of Thompson's Creek.

To give full credit where credit is due, you need to thank your brother Bob who introduced me to conservation easements several years ago. At that time, I became fascinated with the idea that one could be responsible, do something good for a community and at the same time obtain a tax benefit.

Again, I appreciate your diligence in handling the easements on behalf of Conservation Force, along with all you and your 
family have done in assisting me.

Happy New Year


With kindest regards,
Richard J. Dodson, 2011

Bluff I • 99.12 acres • 2010

  30.793498, -91.249051

Bluff II • 54.47 acres • 2011

30.8019028, -91.2584611

Bluff III • 112 acres • 2017 
30.8019028, -91.2584611

Bluff IV • 188.97 acres • 2019

30.804780, -91.249628

Bluffs IV is a recreational open space in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, along Thompson Creek. The easement has been established to forever protect the natural scenic and aesthetic value of the land  

University Lakes Urban Reserve 14.63 acres (2010) located in East Baton Rouge Parish near Louisiana State University 
(30.408653, -91.160753)

 

 

This easement has an elevated footpath for residents, a lake with largemouth bass, and several dozen bird species. 

South Carolina Cattle Creek Conservation Easement

963.501 acres (2011) located in Orangeburg County, SC
(33.263451, -80.734148)

The property has mature bottomland hardwoods and the largest live oak in south Carolina.

Tunica Hills Fisher Place Conservation Easement

402.93 acres (2011) located in West Feliciana Parish, LA
(30.89265, -91.494999)

 

Senator Tom McVea's tract in Tunica Hills, northwest of St. Francisville. It is bisected by Polly Creek which runs into the Mississippi River. This site contains southern mesophytic forests and is in the range of  "threatened" Louisiana black bear.

Derrymore Plantation I: Hickory Hill Plantation Conservation Easement 104.01 acres (2011) located in East Feliciana Parish, LA
(30.925789, -91.150231)

The forest is classified as a mixed hardwood-loblolly pine. The forest type provides significant wildlife benefit to a wide range of native mammals, birds, and herptiles.

Zachary Mitigation Area Redwood Creek Addition Conservation Easement

290.633 acres (2013) located in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA
(30.699077, -91.113825)

This site is surrounded by wet hardwood flatwoods and bottomland hardwood

Gulf Coastal Plains Wetland Mitigation Bank Conservation Easement 464 acres (2013) located in Chambers County, TX (29.655015, -94.411883)

 

This is the first wetland mitigation bank in Texas. It is located slightly east of Galveston Bay. Phase One is 464 acres adjacent to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Ultimately it will be 1,850 acres of restored coastal wetlands.

A before and after video of Gulf Coastal Plains Wetlands Mitigation Bank, drone footage courtesy of Ecosystem Renewal. 

The Gulf Coastal Plains Wetlands Mitigation Bank is located in-between the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (light green on the map).

Celebrating The Completion of Phase 1 of The Gulf Coastal Plains Wetlands Mitigation Bank- March 2017

Ecosystem Renewal and The Earth Partners have recently completed Phase 1 of the 1998-acre Gulf Coast Plains Mitigation Bank located in Chambers County. The bank is the largest herbaceous wetland and the only tidal wetland bank in the state of Texas.  
 

Phase 1 consists of 464 acres adjacent to the Anahuac Wildlife refugee. No small undertaking, the restoration work completed to date includes the planting of over 300,000 native plants, the redistribution of several hundred thousand yards of earth, and the re-establishment of a mile-long natural tidal channel. Ecosystem Renewal and The Earth Partners have recently completed Phase 1 of the 1998-acre Gulf Coast Plains Mitigation Bank located in Chambers County. The bank is the largest herbaceous wetland and the only tidal wetland bank in the state of Texas.  
 

In addition to Representative Babin, Chambers County Officials and Members of the Interagency Review Team will also be in attendance to discuss the ecological and economic importance of the Bank to the surrounding community.

Enterprise Woodlands Plantation Mitigation Bank Easement

146.690 acres (2013) located in Lafourche Parish, LA
(29.853188, -90.887189)

This tract is being fully restored to hardwood bottomland forest and cypress swamp.

 

Lucky Hit Woodlands Mitigation Bank Conservation Easement

89.8 acres (2015) located in Plattenville, LA (30.009438, -91.018336)

Bad Bayou Conservation Easement 

99.234 acres (2016) located in St. Landry Parish, LA 
(30.704323, -91.835273)

 

Dense hardwood forest area with a pond near the entrance.

Derrymore Plantation II: North 67 Conservation Easement 

67 acres (2016) located in East Feliciana Parish, LA
(30.867863, -91.195244)

 

This is a tract of hardwoods with abundant deer, bird and other wildlife. Pine and other softwood trees were removed and there is a deer management plan for the property. Conservation Force has several other easements within the same parish.

Please click map to enlarge

Big Darbonne Bayou Conservation Easement 144.5 acres (2016) located in St. Landry Parish, LA
(30.627252, -91.867320)

 

 

 

Big Darbonne is located in the Atchafalaya Basin and has cypress trees along the border, a swamp like area, and sugarcane fields.  The land has been replanted to be a cypress swamp. 

Big Darbonne Bayou Mitigation is located between Thistlethwaite State Wildlife Management Area and Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge.

For the Five Conservation Easement 200 acres (2017) located in St. Martin Parish, LA (30.277104, -91.798160)

For the Five Conservation Easement is located just east of Lafayette, Louisiana.The easement is a cypress swamp within the Atchafalaya flood plane and adjacent to the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge with abundant waterfowl and deer.

Copper Mills Nature Reserve 189 acres (2018) located in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana (30.629591, -91.187401)

Copper Mills Nature Reserve is located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the Prairie Terrace Loess Forest. It consists of Hardwood timberland. Common wildlife on the property includes deer, turkey, and rabbits.

Copper Mill Map-FINAL.jpg

Derrymore Plantation III: Hatfield 54 Tract, Jackson, Louisiana
(30.92805, -91.15123
)

 

The easement is an upland  mixed, hardwood and pine forest bisected my McKowen  Creek located in East Feliciana  Parish. It is adjacent to North 67 Easement, a few miles north of Jackson, Louisiana.

bridge -Hatfield 54.jpg
bluffs-2.png