Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation from the Countryside to Your Backyard

There are nearly 2 billion acres of land in the conterminous United States. About 70 percent of that land is privately owned and its care is in the hands of those who live and work on it. Most of that land, 1.4 billion acres, is managed by farmers and ranchers. More than 92 million acres of land—an area the size of California—is privately developed and much of it is tended by homeowners. Farmers and ranchers use conservation plans to help them apply practices that meet their production objectives and protect soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources. You may want to develop a plan for your own backyard to help you apply conservation measures that fit your needs. Or maybe, for now, you’d like to try just a few of the activities in this book.

Farm and Forest Land Preservation with Conservation Easements

This publication is intended to provide basic information on conservation easements for landowners, community leaders, students and other interested individuals. It is not intended, and should not be used, to provide information to guide a particular conservation easement transaction or to substitute for the legal, financial and/or property appraisal planning or assistance that is needed for such transactions.

Protecting Soil and Water Resources

Landowners who wish to practice stewardship on their lands need to assess the potential negative impact of their management activities on soil and water resources, both on and off their property. Soil and water conservation is focused on the prevention of erosion and off-site movement of sediments, nutrients and pesticides, the maintenance of normal water levels in wetlands, and the reduction of flood flows into estuaries.must adhere to minimum standards that include BMPs for soil and water conservation. These standards also promote timber, wildlife, recreational and aesthetic values. Landowners who have environmentally-sensitive forestlands with high erosion potential should design their management plans primarily to protect and enhance the soil and water resources. This includes lands

Restoration of Wetlands Under the Wetlands Reserve Program

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a national program authorized by the 1990 Farm Bill. WRP is a voluntary opportunity offering landowners a chance to receive payments for restoring and protecting wetlands on their property through the establishment of permanent, or (possibly) thirty-year, conservation easements. This Woodland Owner Note has been revised to help North Carolina landowners understand the provisions of the 1995 Wetlands Reserve Program.

Voluntary Conservation Options for Land Protection in North Carolina

Landowners share a deep connection to their land and the legacy they’ll leave behind. With so many conservation options to consider, landowners need to have a working knowledge of the choices to protect their land in the near and long term. Landowners should identify their goals before embarking upon a conservation strategy. Once a conservation strategy is selected, then the implications of state and federal taxes can be explored. This publication reviews the most common land conservation and protection options.