How we work

Nevada Land Trust has a variety of conservation tools for a variety of needs.

Ask our partners about Nevada Land Trust, and you’ll hear words like trusted, local, respectful, flexible and creative. We’ve also been called resourceful, scrappy, persistent and extremely passionate about conservation in Nevada. We are proud of the partnerships and relationships we’ve built over the years and recognize that as Nevada’s first independent land trust, we’d be nowhere without them.

Nevada Land Trust creates community-based conservation solutions, like founding the Washoe Valley Working Group to bring stakeholders together to protect the Old Winters Ranch in Washoe Valley, and co-founding One Truckee River with our friends at KTMB to raise the level of connection and protection along the Truckee River in Nevada.  We serve as a common-sense voice for Nevada conservation at the local, state and federal level. Our volunteer Board of Trustees and expert staff assess each potential project based on the values that merit protection and other critical factors. Examples include:

  • Wildlife habitat and affected species
  • Recreation opportunities
  • Cultural or archaeological significance
  • Preserving Nevada’s heritage
  • Streams, springs or other water sources
  • Proximity to other protected lands
  • Landowner’s needs and expectations
  • Restoration opportunities
  • Organizational capacity
  • Total project costs and available funding


Sometimes the best conservation outcome is through acquisition by a public entity, as in the case of an inholding surrounded by public land. Often these contain the water sources that support wildlife on those public lands. Nevada Land Trust must raise sufficient funds to cover all costs before a project can be completed successfully. Much, but not all, of the cost of these acquisitions can be funded through local, state and federal programs.

NLT has been successful in facilitating the public purchase of high conservation value tracts of land and water by leveraging our expertise in:

  • Landowner outreach and communications
  • Negotiations
  • Document preparation (letters of intent/ agreements/ escrow instructions/ vendor agreements)
  • Information tracking and landowner database systems
  • Budget management
  • Real estate and Nevada water law

Conservation Easement

A conservation easement, which leaves underlying land in private ownership, is a strong and lasting partnership between the landowner and land trust. Ranching families find that working with Nevada Land Trust on a conservation easement gives them great comfort that their family’s land will be protected, remain in production, and possibly offer financial and tax benefits as well. Conservation easements are drafted together with the landowner to both protect the resource values of a property and support the continued pursuit of the family’s livelihood.  

Gifts of Land and Water Rights

Nevada Land Trust receives gifts of donated land and water rights. Just as with any acquisition, these gifts are assessed for their conservation values, and we meet with the donor to clarify their wishes and intent. Like all NLT efforts, this too is collaborative. NLT has also been fortunate to be named the beneficiary of several non-conservation properties. At the time they become available to us, NLT may sell them, and the proceeds will help fund other conservation projects. 


Land restoration has become an increasingly important part of NLT’s work. Whether answering an urgent call to shore up a stream bank after a wildfire, mobilizing volunteers to keep invasive weeds at bay or seeking to hand over a property to the public in better shape than when we found it, NLT is poised to act. As NLT’s agency partners experience further cutbacks to funding, it’s all the more essential for us to step up in this way – and private landowners are increasingly relying on us to provide sound recommendations for restoring and replanting habitat areas in this unique Great Basin climate. 

NLT’s restoration efforts have ranged from rebuilding springs for wildlife on more remote acquisitions to shoring up damaged stream corridors immediately following wildfires. NLT works collaboratively with landowners, communities and agencies to conserve or restore single properties of significance — all the way to entire landscapes comprised of multiple parcels. 

Community Conservation

Land Trust Alliance defines Community Conservation as an approach to land conservation that includes more people. Community conservation begins by listening to many different voices in the community — then responding. Community conservation uses the strengths of the land trust to meet needs expressed by people in the community.  Nevada Land Trust’s very first community conservation project began in 1999 when we founded the Washoe Valley Working Group to protect nearly 2,000 acres of the Old Winters Ranch with multiple agencies and individual stakeholders. NLT’s newest community conservation effort is being organized around the protection of the South Fork of the Humboldt River corridor in Elko County.

One Truckee River

Nevada Land Trust is a co-founder of One Truckee River with Keep Truckee  Meadows Beautiful, a community conservation initiative which works to ensure the Truckee River's health and vitality for generations to come. We assisted in creating the One Truckee River Management Plan, the first overarching management plan for the river, which addresses quality of life, recreation, water quality, ecosystem health, education, social issues, public safety, funding and stewardship. Long-term action items include designating the river region in Reno and Sparks as a regional park; developing a system of educational kiosks along the entire Truckee River; and providing proper support efforts for those living on the river. More information, including the entire management plan, can be found on the One Truckee River website.