Conservation easements protect land, water, and wildlife for future generations
Conservation easements are a restriction placed on a piece of property to protect its associated natural resources. They protect land for future generations while allowing owners to retain many private property rights to live on and use their land, at the same time potentially providing them with tax benefits. Conservation easements are selective to protect specific conservation values, such as water quality or migration routes, and is individually tailored to meet a landowner’s needs. To learn more about conserving your land please speak with our Executive Director today. Contact us.
The following is a list of options which you, as a property owner, might consider for land conservation:
You maintain ownership and use of your land. Conservation restrictions outline specific prohibited and permitted uses of the property. Permitted uses usually include agriculture, forestry, recreation, and other open space uses. Limited development, such as a home site, may also be allowed. Prohibited uses typically include industrial, commercial, and residential development. Restrictions may cover all or part of the property. Federal and state tax benefits are determined by the extent of the restrictions on the property. Read More
The property is given to the Trust outright, and may be held by the Trust and permanently protected. Alternately, if you agree, the Trust may sell all or part of the property with permanent conservation restrictions in place that ‘run with the land’. This means the land will forever be protected with every subsequent sale. In this scenario, you are typically entitled to tax benefits, the value of which is determined by the restrictions or lack of restrictions you place on the property. Read More
Gift of a Remainder Interest:
Some landowners donate land to the Trust while retaining a life estate for themselves and/or their family. In other words, you (and/or your family) continue to own the land until the time of death. Ownership of the land is then transferred to the Trust for permanent protection. This scenario can also result in a significant tax benefit.
Sale of Land (at market value or bargain sale):
The Trust may be willing to purchase a piece of land that is very important to the local community or region and is under threat of sale and development. There is no tax benefit available in this situation. Additionally, you may consider offering a bargain sale (below market value) to the Trust, in which case the difference between the market value and the lower sales value may generate tax benefits.
Conservation Investor Program
In some cases a landowner may be interested in protecting his/her property but cannot take advantage of the tax benefits, or may need to realize some income from the decision. The Trust works with a consultant who links landowners with investors who can use the tax benefits and are willing to pay a landowner for that opportunity.
We are available to discuss each of the above options with you so that you can explore all land protection possibilities and select the one that’s best for your situation.