Land Trust Alliance Publishes 2010 National Land Trust Census

Study Reveals Promising Trends in Conservation

The Land Trust Alliance, in collaboration with The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, collected and analyzed extensive census data to measure the pace and quality of conservation across America. The data points to strategic conservation as a key to conservation success and identifies several New England states as national leaders in conservation.

National facts from the report

  • On average, a land trust with a strategic conservation plan guiding its land or easement acquisition conserves TWICE as many acres as a land trust without such a plan. This was true for all regions.
  • Nationally, from 2005 to 2010, state and local land trusts more than doubled the amount of funding they have dedicated to monitoring, stewardship, and legal defense. They have also nearly tripled their operating endowments.
  • Nationally, all land trusts have conserved a total of 47,021,499 acres.

Regional facts from the report

  • As of 2010, the Northeast’s state and local land trusts have conserved 5,225,019 acres—the most of any region.  
  • Massachusetts has the second highest number of Land trusts per state (159) and Connecticut has the third highest (137).  
  • Maine has the second highest number of total acres conserved: 1,796,387.


Conservation is a growing movement across America, and conservationists are quickly adopting plans and methods for large-scale success. Though many New England states are geographically small and population dense, several are above average in their conservation success.

To read the full report, please read the full 2010 National Land Trust Census report.