Of the two types of land trusts most commonly in use, the ownership type is the most common, but the conservancy type is the one which is most commonly recognized by people of the general public. There are several well-known land trusts in operation today including the world land trust, the nature conservancy and the Wildlife preservation Canada trust. The aim of land trusts of this mature is to provide a stewardship over the lands which are entrusted to them. Their primary goal is to ensure that the lands are protected against unregulated and non-beneficial development, to protect and appropriately administer the natural resources and mineral holdings of the land and to provide for the land to be enjoyed by the general public as recreational, educational, or environmental offset space.
One of the most practical uses of a conservationary land trust is to protect water resources, ranchland, farm land and cultural or national historically significant sites from being exploited, misused, damaged or destroyed. These land trusts can vary in their oversight, protecting anything from archeological sites to scenic corridors.
One of the most important types of conservationary land trusts is to provide protection for areas that are in recovery from environmental damage. One such land trust of this type is the Mt. St. Helens Conservation and recovery area. This land trust provides researchers an opportunity to see how the land surrounding the volcano has recovered naturally and get a better understanding of how the planet repairs itself after a catastrophic event such as mega eruption such as the one which took place in 1980.
Conservation land trusts have been around a long time, but with the rise in popularity of all things environmental they are becoming more commonly place. They provide for the protection of the land while still allowing it to be used for enjoyable and significant purposes such as research, education, and recreation. Without conservation land trust there would be no enforceable way to protect the lands in question while still leaving them open to the public. The only other option would be to close them off as private land and then we would all miss out on what they have to offer.