What is a Conservation Easement?
A Conservation Easement:
- Is a Legal Agreement: Protecting the natural qualities of your land by restricting development.
- Is Flexible: You negotiate the terms of your Conservation Easement with the Conservancy’s Land Protection Specialist.
- Keeps Land in private ownership: Many people mistakenly think that when they place a conservation easement on their property, it becomes open to the public. Not true! Conservation easement landowners retain the right to keep their land private.
- Can result in an income tax deduction and reduced property and estate taxes.
Key Features of Conservation Easements:
Each easement is tailored to reflect the conservation goals of the landowner and of the Conservancy. A conservation easement does not have to restrict all future development. Many property owners reserve the right to build upon or sell a portion of their property in the future.
Conservation easements are given in perpetuity and become a permanent part of the title to the land, regardless of future ownership. They are similar to deed restrictions, however, the Conservancy will always be there to uphold the restrictions.
Because a conservation easement conveys the value of development rights to a charitable organization, donors may qualify for a variety of income, property, and estate tax benefits.
The Land Remains in Private Ownership and Stays on the Tax Rolls
Because land remains in private hands under the conservation easement, no right of access is granted. Private landowners continue to control access. The land stays on the tax rolls.