A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a land owner and a land trust, or other organization, which permanently restricts certain uses of land in order to protect its historic, scenic or conservation values.
Conservation values include wildlife habitat and movement corridors, protection of stream corridors and watersheds, preservation of rare or endemic plant species, and the satisfaction of other community values, such as sustainable agriculture and forest management.
The easement can apply to any portion of a land owner’s property and need not require public access. The specific terms of a conservation agreement are negotiated between the donor and recipient, according to the needs and desires of each.
The land trust is responsible for ensuring that the easement’s terms are followed. This is accomplished by periodic (usually annual) visitations by the land trust in coordination with the land owner.
If a donated easement benefits the public by permanently protecting the land’s historic, scenic or conservation values and meets other federal tax code requirements, the donation can qualify as a tax-deductible charitable donation. The amount of the donation is the difference in the land’s appraised value with and without the easement.
A conservation easement can be essential for passing land on to the next generation. By removing the land’s development potential, the easement lowers its market value, which in turn lowers any estate tax.
For further information, please contact Litchfield Land Trust by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-361-9310.
The Litchfield Land Trust invites the public to hike its properties.