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How We Work

MALT is a member-supported non-profit organization that permanently protects working farms in Marin County by purchasing agricultural conservation easements on farmland.

What Is an Agricultural Conservation Easement?

Jensen RanchA MALT agricultural conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between MALT and a landowner. MALT easements prohibit non-agricultural residential and commercial development, subdivision, and other uses or practices that are detrimental to sustainable agriculture. MALT easements are perpetual: they remain in effect on the land regardless of change in ownership.

By restricting certain uses, the easement lowers the value of the land. MALT purchases easements from landowners to compensate for the loss of value. Once the sale of an easement is final, MALT extinguishes the development rights on the protected farmland. We do not sell or transfer development rights to another area of the county. The land remains in private ownership and on the tax rolls.

Get to know the farms and ranches MALT protects »


Our Stewardship department works with owners of MALT-protected farms to maintain and enhance the land's natural and agricultural value. MALT staff pay an annual monitoring visit to each protected farm, and help farmers plan and secure funding for projects to manage weeds and improve soil, rangeland and water quality.

Events and Outreach

Leiss wildflower hikeMALT promotes public awareness of farming- and food-related issues and advocates for policies that support agriculture. We host events welcoming the public to Marin’s family-owned farms and ranches. MALT events offer unique opportunities to explore the landscape, learn about Marin’s natural and cultural history, savor and share local food, and get to know the farmers who make it possible.

View upcoming events and register »