Land Trust Division - Conservation Easements
Conservation Force's primary mission includes the conservation of wild places, wildlife, and an outdoor 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
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
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
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
Bottomland and hardwood forest restoration in the Amite River Basin.
Bossier City/ Barksdale Easement
294.494 acres (2010) located in Bossier Parish, LA
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:
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
Bluff II • 54.47 acres • 2011
Bluff III • 112 acres • 2017
Bluff IV • 188.97 acres • 2019
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
South Carolina Cattle Creek Conservation Easement
963.501 acres (2011) located in Orangeburg County, SC
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
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
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.
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).
Derrymore Plantation II: North 67 Conservation Easement
67 acres (2016) located in East Feliciana Parish, LA
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
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.
NAPREL Family Reserve
This easement is 70 acres of forested bottomland hardwoods in Avoyelles Parish located southwest of Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge where Conservation Force has several other important easement holdings. It rests within the Bayou Teche Basin and Red River Bottomlands ecoregion. It is bisected by Bayou Wauksha / Turner Canal which eventually discharges into Bayou Teche to its southeast. The property serves as a forested corridor running north to south. The Parish is known for its monster whitetail deer. The property is named after the initials of the owner's children.
Ratliff Woodlands Plantation Easement
This 248.5 acre easement is being restored. It is being converted from an agriculture field (sugar cane, soybean, and crayfish production) to a bottom hardwood wetland forest including a small cypress swamp. It's original forest was cleared before the Acadians from Nova Scotia arrived in 1764. It is located due east of Napoleonville, Louisiana on Bayou Lafourche in Assumption Parish. It is part of the East Central Louisiana Watershed of Barataria Basin.
Lexington Plantation Easement
This elongated 31.3 acre tract is on River Road in East Baton Rouge Parish and is complemented by the levee, ponds, and batture of the Mississippi River. Upriver it boarders Burtville Plantation and down river, Woodstock Plantation. It has deer, alligators, small quardripeds and abundant bird life and a pond for waterfowl.
Copper Mill II - Cypress Bayou Extension
This is 95 acres of forested bottomland hardwood connecting with and northeast of our Copper Mill Nature Reserve located near Zachary in East Baton Rouge Parish. The eastern border is contagious with Cypress Bayou and the west with Copper Mill Golf Course. The south boundary meets and interconnects with another Conservation Force easement. When combined the two easements more greatly secure and enhance the ecological integrity of the natural area.
Wesson Mitigation Bank, State of Mississippi
The 279.66 acre property is in the Bayou Pierre Basin. Bayou Pierre runs north-south for the entire length of the east border of the property and into the Mississippi River northwest of the property. The purpose of the easement is to rehabilitate the bottomland hardwood wetland, enhance the connecting upland habitat, restore the banks and natural flow of Bayou Pierre, and maintain the cypress Tupelo sloughs along the banks of Bayou Pierre. The easement is 42 miles south of Jackson and 57 miles east of Natchez.