More than half of western Great Plains farmers are near retirement age. Many are considering conservation easements as a way of protecting the land from development and subdivision long after they're gone.
The federal government, through USDA programs, negotiate easements on land meeting conservation requirements. Other organizations - Land Trusts - have been created specifically for contracting with landowners to quell future development rights to the land. This episode the functions of land trusts and what they're able to accomplish.