A conservation easement is a permanent way to both preserve open space, (including farms or graze lands) and to obtain tax credits in the process. Through the process of conservation easements, it is possible for a landowner to afford to develop a portion of land while saving enough open space to make it attractive to a planned development.
More and more landowners are choosing the option of conservation easements over selling out or developing. As values for farm and ranch land increase, the temptation is to sell out. By opting to create a conservation easement, a landowner can afford to preserve a rural way of life for future generations.
Conservation easements are flexible tools, and can be tailored to the needs of the landowner and the goals of the easement.
The technique used to create a conservation easement is a contract between a landowner and a land trust, which contains permanent restrictions on the use or development of land. The document prevents future development because it is legally recorded, although home sites can be reserved.
The conservation easement must be for a public purpose, such as protection of wildlife habitat, protection of open space, or the preservation of farm land. Conservation values can be for important historic, scenic, natural or agricultural characteristics of property. Once identified, the conservation easement places restrictions on the property to protect these values. In signing an easement, the landowner is granting the easement holder the right to enforce those restrictions.
Please contact Bob and Linda Lario for more information on conservation easements, and for a Contact List of people who can help in this process.