In Old Town Pocatello, Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust has its offices. However, the organization does most of its business outside.
Communications and Project Coordinator Sophie Jackson says, "We're a nonprofit that works with willing landowners across Southeast Idaho who want to protect their land. The primary way we do that is through conservation easements which are permanent legal agreements tied into the deed of the land."
Landowners can donate, or sell, the development rights of their land to the organization to conserve the land, but there are a few requirements.
Conservation Manager Kelly Conde says, "If there's good wildlife habitat and if it's a working farm or ranch that's one of our conservation values that we look for."
After the two entities come to an agreement, the land remains property of the owner, but with restrictions
Jackson says, "That land can't be developed anymore. So, it can't be subdivided and be sold off to be turned into condos, or a strip mall, or anything like that."
Landowners can have the peace of mind that their property will remain pristine for generations to come and the land trust makes sure that these agreements also befit the public.
Conde says, "Does it contribute to the scenic value of the area? Is it something that people can see from the road or trail? We kind of look at all those things."
The organization recently worked with a family in Caribou County to conserve nearly 500 acres of land.
CORRECTION: The nearly 500 acres of land are in Franklin County.