WVLT must raise the funds needed for our perpetual obligations of this conservation easement, which is why we are contacting you today. A minimum of $10,000 is required for our Conservation and Defense Fund and our stewardship needs, which in totality, supports our long-term responsibilities to monitor and enforce Taliaferro Farms’ permanent conservation restrictions.
Pete and Robin Taliaferro have expressed publicly, for many years, their desire to see their land protected forever. They firmly believe in their commitment to agriculture and together WVLT and Scenic Hudson have worked with the family to secure the future of the Farm and its ability to produce fresh, local food for the benefit of the community.
- What is a conservation easement?
A conservation easement is a permanent conservation restriction. The Taliaferro Farms conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between the landowner and WVLT The landowners retain many of their rights, including the right to own and use the land, sell it and pass it on to their heirs. The conservation easement is forever - it will “run with the land” which means that not only the original owner, but all owners that come after them are subject to the easement.
- What do conservation easements do exactly?
A conservation easement protects the conservation values of the land. Every easement is unique, but generally development is limited. The restrictions outlined in the easement are permanent, and WVLT is tasked with ensuring the restrictions are adhered to, forever. Conservation easements do not make a property a public park, and they do not override existing local laws.
- Why is Taliaferro Farm being paid for a conservation easement?
A landowner can donate the development rights of his/her land with a conservation easement, and there are tax incentives available for this. A landowner can also sell his/her development rights, known as the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR), which is what the Taliaferro Farms project is. PDR projects allow landowners to receive the value lost from those given up development rights. This value- the money the landowner receives- can then be used to support for things like the farm operations.
- Why did all of these organizations and government agencies get involved in the protection of this farm?
The public-private partnership of WVLT, Scenic Hudson, Ulster County and the Town of New Paltz is an innovative and first-of-its-kind project in Ulster County. Working together, Scenic Hudson, the County and Town are able to contribute equally towards the acquisition of the conservation easement and meet the farmland preservation goals of the community, County and Hudson Valley region.
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust holds 13 conservation easements within 3 miles of this farm, including the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the Harcourt-Nyquist Wildlife Sanctuary, the Jewett Farm, Huguenot Street Farm CSA, Phillies Bridge Farm CSA and Old Ford Farm CSA. Stewarding the Taliaferro Farm Conservation Easement not only fits our mission, but fulfills our 5-year strategic goal of increasing farmland protection in our service area.
- Why does the Wallkill Valley Land Trust need money when all these other groups and government agencies are putting money into this project?
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust, by agreeing to hold a conservation easement, is accepting significant stewardship responsibilities. Accredited land trusts maintain a stewardship fund to make sure they’ll be able to carry out these responsibilities into the future.
But what do you need the money for?
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust requires a minimum of $7,000 for the conservation and defense of each conservation easement we accept. This fund is intended to support the future legal and enforcement obligations we are incurring by holding the conservation easement. We also have the expense of stewarding the easement- now and forever- which includes our staff time for developing and maintaining important documentation such as the Baseline Documentation Report. A minimum of $10,000 is needed for this project, which is why we need your help! All of the contributions made to our stewardship fund and to the Wallkill Valley Land Trust are tax-deductible donations.
Want to learn more about conservation easements, the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, or just have a question? Please contact us!