Central Arizona Land Trust is a community-based, nationally accredited Arizona non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the irreplaceable landscapes that define central and northern Arizona.
We believe that our quality of life is rooted in the love for our western landscapes. These open lands serve many purposes, from retaining farms and ranches, to providing rich resources for wildlife while supporting clean air and healthy watersheds. We work primarily with private landowners to develop conservation easements to protect these beautiful places for our enjoyment today and for future generations.
Now in our 31st year, CALT is guided by a volunteer board of directors. As one of 1700 land trusts across America who are committed to conserving American's irreplaceable natural resources and agricultural lands in their local communities.
In 1989, a bulldozer began carving out new home sites at the foot of Thumb Butte, a cherished scenic historic landmark overlooking the City of Prescott. Alarmed citizens contacted the Trust for Public Land which, assisted in establishing the Central Arizona Land Trust (CALT) as the first local land trust in northern Arizona. Funds were raised through the “Save the Butte” capital campaign to purchase the land as open space for the City of Prescott with CALT holding the perpetual conservation easement to ensure that the scenic vistas of Thumb Butte are protected forever.
Today, CALT holds conservation easements on over 4,500 acres that include public open space and ranchlands.
CALT works in six counties throughout Central Arizona, including Yavapai, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, Apache, and Maricopa. Our efforts to protect important open lands encompass a broad range of landscapes from Arizona's Sonoran and Mohave Deserts to rolling grasslands and high mountain forests. Our efforts also include the Mogollon Rim, the Central Highlands, and the Colorado Plateau region. Our service area encompasses the headwaters of Arizona's greatest rivers, including the Verde, Salt, Bill Williams, Agua Fria, and the Little Colorado. Some of Arizona's most productive pine forests, rangelands and agricultural areas are found here, supporting local economies in a number of vibrant towns and small cities.
The most commonly used land protection tool is a conservation easement. As a voluntary agreement between the landowner and the land trust, the conservation easement defines the limitations on development to accomplish the goals of protection for each property.
A conservation easement guarantees the long-term protection of places worth protecting, through generations of landowners. Conservation easements are specific to each property and are used to protect land under a broad continuum of uses, from working farms and ranches to riparian habitats and wildlife corridors.
Conservation easements may be eligible for tax benefits. In 2015, Congress voted to approve the enhanced tax incentive for the donation of a conservation easement to a qualified organization. As an accredited, 501 (c) (3) Arizona non-profit land trust, the Central Arizona Land Trust is a qualified organization as required by the tax code.