A conservation easement is a permanent and voluntary legal agreement that limits the property owner’s use of their land for the purposes of protecting it. There could be tax benefits for easements, but usually, the primary reason owners do so is because they want to conserve land that is beloved to them. The owner of the land retains many owner rights, which includes using the land or selling it as well as passing it along to heirs – which makes conservation easements worthwhile when estate planning.
What are the benefits of a Conservation Easement?
Conservation easements and land donations help to protect resources and assets of the property, such as wildlife habitats, prime agricultural land, and watershed protection for improved water quality. Here are some other benefits of conservation easements:
- Permanently protects land from development for the benefit of present and future generations.
- Fosters Healthy Communities: Clean drinking water, healthy soil/healthy food, clean air and places to connect and reflect.
- Protects wildlife habitats, biodiversity and ensures their survival.
- Provides Climate Solutions: Conserved, well-managed land also provides protection from natural disasters, such as floods and drought, while absorbing carbon and keeping it from the earth’s atmosphere.
What type of land can be protected?
Working lands such as farms, undeveloped land with natural resource assets, vacant rail/road right-of-ways, land for stream setback requirements, vacant or abandoned property; parks and camps, streams and lakes, and historically important sites.