The ATC Land Trust manages and monitors the properties that the ATC holds in conservation easements. Conservation easements are voluntary agreements between willing landowners and the ATC that permanently protect the land's natural qualities. A landowner who agrees to an easement still owns and uses the land, and can sell it or pass it on to their heirs. The easement limits land development on the property in exchange for certain tax or financial benefits. Each easement is tailored to suit each individual property and the needs and interests of the landowner. Easements are permanent and bind all present and future owners of the land, specifying what can be done to the surface of the land and its natural resources. Easements can allow farming, logging, and other uses of natural resources, or they can keep the land in an undisturbed natural condition. In regard to the AT, these easements serve to supplement the corridor and are intended to preserve values important to the Trail experiences, including major viewsheds, springs and watersheds, agricultural lands, and sensitive wildlife habitats.
If you are interested in learning more information about ATC's Land Trust, you can check it out online at: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.851193/k.FF90/Land_Trust.htm
And for more resources about land trusts, you can go to http://www.lta.org/