The Oconee River Land Trust (ORLT) was created in 1993 to protect land along the North and Middle Oconee Rivers, which flow through ORLT's home in Athens, GA. Our focus has expanded to the conservation of land and waterways throughout Georgia and beyond. We now protect over 44,000 acres of land in 53 Georgia counties and two counties in South Carolina.
We work with private landowners to protect natural forests, wetlands, swamps, and working farms and forests through conservation easements. Conservation easements are permanent, voluntary agreements that permanently restrict certain uses to protect the land's conservation values.
Permanently conserved land provides a number of public benefits, such as:
Preservation of wildlife habitat
Supporting communities' health and well-being through recreation
Contributing to clean water and air
Providing scenic view
Ensuring access to farm and forest products.