I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to MISSION CTNC s mission is to protect land along the Blue Ridge Parkway, assist 23 local land trusts, and

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115 I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to MISSION CTNC s mission is to protect land along the Blue Ridge Parkway, assist 23 local land trusts, and connect people to nature so that all North Carolinians can enjoy safe drinking water, clean air, fresh local foods, and recreational opportunities, for generations to come. CONSERVATION OPTIONS FOR YOUR LAND protect my land, which both my parents and grandparents worked so hard for. Landowner Thelma White, who donated a conservation easement to CTNC The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) is a private, nonprofit organization that works in partnership with landowners and their families to help them voluntarily protect the natural character of their property. This brochure provides an overview of the conservation options available to landowners who are interested in permanently preserving their forestland and farms, streams and wildlife habitat. Options include the sale or donation of a conservation easement on the land, or the sale or donation of the property itself. Depending on the option chosen, a landowner who conserves some or all of the property may realize significant tax and estate planning benefits and/or cash payments. You can help! Visit to sign up for e-newsletters, take action, or make a gift that will help us save the places you love! How you can preserve the land that you love. Every decision to conserve a property is unique and personal. It depends on the landowner s financial circumstances, the characteristics of the property, and the owner s vision for the future of the land. For landowners who share CTNC s goals, the options described here may provide a means to achieve a personal dream of forever protecting the land you love. What are the steps to conserving your land? STEP ONE: What are my goals? The process starts by asking yourself questions that will help you decide which conservation option is best for you. The information in this brochure is intended only as an introduction. Tax rules change frequently. Please be sure to consult your personal tax advisor with respect to your particular situation. CTNC cannot provide tax advice or counsel to any landowners. Copyright 2014, Conservation Trust for North Carolina 1. What is your vision for your land? Picture the land in 50 years. What do you want it to look like? Who might own it? 2. Given your personal and financial situation, what benefits would you like to realize from conserving your land? Do you want to pass the land on to a friend or family member? Is income or estate tax a concern? Are current property taxes an issue?

116 STEP TWO: What are my options? Potential Financial Implications * Land Protection Federal Income Estate Tax Property Tax Cash Payment Option Description Results Tax Deduction? Reduction? Reduction? to Landowner? Donation of Landowner donates a conservation easement on The landowner retains ownership of the property but conservation his/her land to CTNC. A conservation easement agrees to certain restrictions, such as giving up the right easement is a voluntary agreement between a landowner to develop parts of the land. Each agreement is different, and nonprofit conservation organization or based on the needs of the owner and the unique government agency to protect the person s characteristics of the property. Easements that allow undeveloped property. continued hunting, farming and foresty and future homesites are possible. Sale of Landowner sells a conservation easement on Landowner receives compensation for his/her interest in conservation his/her land to CTNC. the land while continuing to own and use the land under easement terms of the easement. Bargain sale of land The property or a conservation easement on the Landowner may claim a charitable contribution for an or conservation property is sold to CTNC at less than fair market amount equal to the difference between the fair market easement (appraised) value. (appraised) value and the sale price. Fair market Landowner sells his/her land (fee simple) to Landowner receives compensation at fair market value sale of land CTNC at fair market value. for his/her land. Outright donation Landowner makes an outright donation of land CTNC owns and manages the land. of land (fee simple) to CTNC. Note: If permitted by the donor, some properties may later be sold to conservation buyers or public agencies with adequate conservation restrictions in place. Donation of Interests in land are donated to CTNC over CTNC owns and manages the land. undivided partial several years until the organization has full See note above. interest in land ownership. Donation of land Land is bequeathed to CTNC at the time of the CTNC owns and manages the land. by will landowner s death. See note above. Donation of Land is donated to CTNC, but the owner (or CTNC owns and manages the land. remainder interest others designated by the owner) continues See note above. in land with to live there, usually until death. reserved life estate YES YES OFTEN NO NO NO OFTEN YES YES POSSIBLY OFTEN YES NO NO n/a YES YES YES n/a NO YES YES n/a NO NO YES NO NO YES YES NO NO * In most cases. The potential for - and the amount of - income, estate and property tax reductions depends on a number of factors, including the property s value and the financial situation of the landowner.!! STEP THREE: Take time to carefully consider your options, consult your financial and legal advisors, and contact the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. CTNC can work with you to develop an appropriate conservation strategy for your land and then lead you through the process of implementing it. To learn more about your conservation options, please contact us by phone, or fill in and mail the form below. How do I make the right choice? Thank you for considering making a commitment to land conservation and helping to preserve the natural beauty of North Carolina. CONTACT THE CONSERVATION TRUST FOR NORTH CAROLINA By phone: (919) ext By mail: Fill out and send this form to: Conservation Trust for North Carolina 1028 Washington Street Raleigh, NC Name: Address: Telephone: Please send me additional information on the following options (choose one or more): q Conservation easements (donating or selling) q Selling my land for conservation q Donating my land for conservation q Bequeathing my land to CTNC

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118 Produced by: Conservation Trust for North Carolina on behalf of with funding from WalMart 4th Edition 2010 by the Conservation Trust for North Carolina and N.C. Coastal Land Trust 4th Edition Credits: Text: Camilla Herlevich and Edward Norvell Editing and project management: Reid Wilson, Margaret Lillard and Margaret Newbold Design: Nicole Leech; inside pages original design by Ashley Warriner Printing: Harperprints Front Cover photographs: Background photo: Boone Fork Farm, protected by Conservation Trust for North Carolina; photo by CTNC. Left: Marian and Ezra Gilliam, farm protected by LandTrust for Central North Carolina; photo by CTNC. Right: Bird Island, protected by N.C. Coastal Land Trust; photo by N.C. Coastal Land Trust. Inside front cover photographs: Left: Frances Austin at Lindale Farm, protected by Piedmont Land Conservancy; photo by Virginia Weiler. Right: Burston Hewett, farm protected by N.C. Coastal Land Trust; photo by N.C. Coastal Land Trust. Back cover photograph: Free at Last property, protected by Conservation Trust for North Carolina; photo by CTNC. Inside photographs: Conservation Trust for North Carolina, Corbett Lathan, Sandhills Area Land Trust, Victoria Cox, Catawba Lands Conservancy, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, Svyatoslav Petrov. Acknowledgements: North Carolina land trusts are grateful to Camilla Herlevich, Executive Director, N.C. Coastal Land Trust, for her expertise in revising this edition.

119 Table of Contents 1 Introduction...2 What is a conservation agreement?...3 When is a conservation agreement the right method for land protection?...4 How long does a conservation agreement last?...5 What restrictions are contained in a conservation agreement?...5 What current and future uses do conservation agreements allow?...5 Can I put some land into the conservation agreement and leave some land out?...5 Who is responsible for maintaining the property?...6 Will a conservation easement reduce the property taxes on my land?...6 What organizations may accept conservation agreements?...6 Will my land be accepted under a conservation agreement program?...6 What rights and obligations does a conservation agreement create in the grantee/conservation organization?...7 Is the conservation agreement a private or public document?...7 Will the public have access to land under a conservation agreement?...8 Can the land be sold, mortgaged or bequeathed after a conservation agreement is granted?...8 Can a conservation agreement be amended or revoked?...9 What are the pros and cons of donating a conservation agreement?...9 What are the pros and cons of selling a conservation agreement?...10 Will I receive tax benefits for donating a conservation agreement?...10 What are the tax advantages from donating a conservation agreement?...11 How is the value of a conservation agreement determined?...11 What is required to complete and convey a conservation agreement?...12 North Carolina s Land Trusts...13 For current information on specific tax advantages of each type of conservation property transaction, see the flyer in the middle of this book. If the flyer is missing, contact the Conservation Trust for North Carolina,

120 2 Saving the Places You Love A conservation agreement is an effective means of protecting land in North Carolina. Conservation agreements (also called conservation easements) have been used to protect lands as varied as mountain ridgetops, Piedmont river corridors, farms, working forests and coastal marshes. Conservation agreements enable landowners to preserve their land and maintain ownership of it while potentially realizing significant economic benefits. Landowners may sell a conservation agreement if funds are available, or they may receive tax savings for donating a conservation agreement. This brochure is designed to answer the basic questions that a landowner might have about conservation agreements. It is not intended to provide legal advice. As with any real estate transaction, landowners should consult their personal legal, financial and tax advisors before finalizing a conservation agreement. Contact your local land trust to discuss conservation options that may be available for your property. North Carolina s local land trusts are listed on the last page of this booklet, and further information about them and the counties they serve is available at

121 What is a conservation agreement? 3 A conservation agreement (or conservation easement) is a written agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization or public agency, in which: the landowner (also called grantor or donor) promises to keep his or her land in its natural condition without extensive disturbance, and the conservation organization or public agency (also called grantee) has the right to monitor the property and enforce the terms of the agreement. A conservation agreement is similar to restrictive covenants in a subdivision in that it restricts various uses of land. Each conservation agreement is voluntary and tailored to meet the needs of the landowner while protecting the property s natural assets. There are different types of conservation agreements, and they go by different names. For example, a conservation agreement may also be referred to as a deed of conservation easement, a grant of development rights, a historic preservation agreement, a farmland agreement, a facade easement, a working forest easement, a water quality easement or an agricultural easement. Conservation agreements are intended to preserve undeveloped property, and provide a benefit to the public by conserving open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks and other significant natural resources. Because of this public benefit, landowners who donate conservation agreements are eligible for significant federal, state and local tax incentives. In addition, grant programs exist to purchase conservation agreements from landowners who have eligible property but may not be in a position to donate an easement.

122 4 When is a conservation agreement the right method for land protection? To begin with, the land itself must contain significant natural resources such as forestland, wildlife habitat, stream buffers or farmland, or provide scenic enjoyment from public locations so that the public will benefit from its protection. Conservation agreements work best when: the landowner is motivated by the desire to conserve and preserve the land, the land is not heavily developed or subdivided, the land does not require intensive management, and current and future uses of the land are compatible with preservation of its natural features. A conservation agreement is not generally a good tool for landowners who want to maximize their financial return from their land. However, if a landowner is interested in receiving either tax benefits (such as a federal income tax deduction, state income tax credit or a reduction in estate taxes) or a cash payment that is less than the value of the property if it were to be developed, then a conservation agreement may be a good option to consider.

123 How long does a conservation agreement last? 5 Under North Carolina law, a conservation agreement may be created for a period of years or it may be permanent. A landowner who wants to claim federal and state income tax benefits must agree to a permanent easement. In addition, most grant programs that provide funds for the purchase of conservation agreements require that the agreements last forever. What restrictions are contained in a conservation agreement? A conservation agreement s restrictions are tailored to the particular conservation values of the land and interests of the landowner and grantee. Some activities that may be prohibited or restricted include industrial use or commercial development, mineral development or exploration, subdivision, residential use, access for road or power line construction, and extensive timbering. What current and future uses do conservation agreements allow? Depending on the size and character of the land, conservation agreements may allow limited subdivision of the land, timbering and forest management, agricultural use, wildlife management, hunting and fishing, or even the construction and maintenance of a limited number of buildings or homes. Can I put some land into the conservation agreement and leave some land out? Sometimes it may be appropriate to make only part of a tract subject to a conservation agreement and reserve a portion for other uses. Some landowners may use different types of conservation agreements for different areas of their property. For example, a landowner might use an agricultural agreement on upland farm fields and a more restrictive conservation agreement on adjoining riverbank lands.

124 6 Who is responsible for maintaining the property? The landowner retains ownership along with the right and duty to manage and care for the property. In cases where the conservation organization has experience in managing a property s particular natural assets (for example, rare species habitat), it may be appropriate for the organization to be given the right or opportunity to undertake certain land management tasks. Will a conservation agreement reduce the property taxes on my land? Maybe. North Carolina requires county tax assessors to consider the reduction in property value caused by the granting of any conservation agreement. The land owner should apply to the local tax assessor for a change in the ad valorem tax value of land after a conservation agreement is granted, and may find that the tax bill is lowered as a result. However, if the land is already in a special use program, such as forestry use or farm use, there may be little, if any, additional property tax savings as a result of the conservation agreement. What organizations may accept conservation agreements? Conservation agreements may be granted to nonprofit tax-exempt conservation organizations such as a land trust or conservancy, or to public agencies such as the State of North Carolina, counties and towns. Will my land be accepted under a conservation agreement program? It depends. Factors that must be considered include your land s natural assets, the capacity of conservation organizations that serve your area, and the availability of funding. If you wish to sell a conservation agreement, be aware that programs that fund these purchases follow specific criteria, are highly competitive and may have limited assets depending on the current economic climate and other conservation projects being considered. Several state and federal programs have funds available for the purchase of conservation agreements. They include the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, NC Natural Heritage Trust Fund, NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, federal Forest Legacy Program, and federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Program. The best way to find out whether your land has conservation value is to contact your local land trust. A representative will talk with you about your property and may arrange for a site visit. North Carolina s local land trusts are listed in the back of this document and at

125 7 What rights and obligations does a conservation agreement create in the grantee/conservation organization? The grantee/conservation organization is required to monitor and enforce the terms of the conservation agreement. Thus, the agreement must allow the organization access to the property at least annually. The parties may also agree to allow the organization access for scientific research and occasional field trips. If the landowner reserves rights, such as the right to timber or to subdivide, the grantee may be required to review and approve the exercise of such rights. The grantee must maintain sufficient assets to finance its monitoring and enforcement obligations into the future. Therefore, organizations that agree to hold conservation agreements must have a stewardship fund or endowment for this purpose, and will usually raise money to add to this fund whenever a new conservation agreement is signed. The grantor and others interested in the project are generally asked to contribute. Is the conservation agreement a private or public document? A conservation agreement is a public document like any other land deed, easement or similar legal document, and must be recorded in the Registry of Deeds in the county where the land is located. Grantee organizations may publicize the gift depending on the preference of the landowner. For example, a corporation may welcome the goodwill generated by protecting natural areas, while a family may prefer relative anonymity.

126 8 Will the public have access to land under a conservation agreement? A conservation agreement does not generally require or allow entry by the public. There are two exceptions: a) If the conservation values of the property include its scenic character, then the public must be able to see the land; and b) If the conservation values of the property include public recreation, such as a hiking trail, then the public must have physical access to the land. Since most conservation agreements protect lands that have much broader conservation values (for example, significant natural systems, wildlife or plant habitat, or forestland and farmland), they do not include public access to the land. Can the land be sold, mortgaged or bequeathed after a conservation agreement is granted? Yes, landowners may sell, mortgage or otherwise convey a property with a conservation agreement. However, the land will remain subject to the conservation agreement. For example: The value of the land as security will be its value as restricted by the agreement, not its potential value for all unrestricted purposes and uses; The property may be subdivided only as permitted by the agreement; Any rights reserved by the grantor will be passed to any heir or purchaser. If there is a pre-existing deed of trust on the land, it must be subordinated to the conservation agreement before the agreement is granted.

127 Can a conservation agreement be amended or revoked? 9 Because conservation agreements are designed to be permanent, amendment or revocation is difficult. Revocation is usually accomplished only through a court proceeding and depends upon demonstrating that the original conservation purposes of the agreement can no longer be sustained due to a change in circumstances (for example, significant changes in the use of surrounding land). If the conservation agreement is extinguished, the interest in the land (or the proceeds from any sale) is allocated between grantee and grantor, respectively, in proportion to the value of the conservation agreement and the value of the land. In unusual circumstances an easement can be amended, but only with the agreement of both parties. This is usually done to clarify an ambiguity in the easement. Amendments will not be allowed if they diminish protection measures for the conservation values protected by the conservation agreement or somehow enrich the landowner without properly compensating the grantee. What are the pros and cons of selling a conservation agreement? The primary advantage of selling a conservation agreement is the actual net cash received. If a grant award funds the purchase, it may also pay for any stewardship endowment needed. However, funds for purchases of conservation agreements are scarce and the grant process is very competitive. Therefore, grants frequently do not cover the entire value of the conservation agreement being sold. If the landowner is willing to sell the conservation agreement for less than its value (a bargain sale ), then the landowner may claim a federal tax deduction and state tax credit for the difference between the sale price and the appraised value of the conservation agreement. Like any other sale of property, any sales proceeds are subject to capital gains taxes. The disadvantage of selling a conservation agreement derives from the fact that purchase funds typically come from government grants. This requires the land trust to go through an application process to receive the grant, and requires government agency review of appraisals, survey, title and all other documentation. Purchase of a conservation agreement can take years to complete. Some government grants require that the government agency, rather than the land trust, be the grantee of the conservation agreement.

128 10 What are the pros and cons of donating a conservation agreement? Apart from protecting sensitive natural resources, the primary advantages of donating a conservation agreement are tax benefits that the landowner may claim (see flyer insert for current information on the North Carolina Conservation Tax Credit and federal tax deductions for donated easements). A conservation agreement may be donated within a matter of months, while a sale may take longer to finalize. The majority of conservation agreements are donated rather than sold. Regardless of whether the conservation agreement is sold or donated, land trusts must secure adequate funds for a stewardship endowment to finance future monitoring of the conservation agreement. The land trust will explain this cost and may seek a gift in this amount from the landowner as part of the transaction. Will I receive tax benefits for donating a conservation agreement? A landowner who donates a conservation agreement may be able to claim the donation as a charitable contribution. To qualify as a charitable contribution for federal tax purposes, a conservation agreement must be permanent, it must be made to a qualified grantee (generally a nonprofit organization or a public agency), and it must meet one or more of the following conservation purposes: protection of relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife or plants; preservation of open space including farm and forestland; preservation of land for public outdoor recreation or education; preservation of historically important land or buildings; protection of scenic views.

129 What are the tax advantages from donating a conservation agreement? 11 The donor of a qualifying conservation agreement may claim the value of the conservation agreement as a deduction for income, gift and estate tax purposes. Tax laws are occasionally revised, so please refer to the insert in the center of this booklet for details of current federal and North Carolina tax benefits. How is the value of a conservation agreement determined? To determine a conservation agreement s value, a licensed appraiser uses a before and after test in which the value of the property as restricted by the conservation agreement is subtracted from the value of the property before the restrictions were granted. The difference between the two calculations is the value of the conservation agreement. The presence of a conservation property provides a benefit to adjacent land, resulting in added value for the neighboring parcels. If granting a conservation agreement has this effect on any other property owned by the donor or donor s family, the appraiser must reduce the value of the donated conservation agreement by the amount of the benefit to the other property. Whenever possible, a professional appraiser familiar with both the local real estate market and conservation agreements should undertake the appraisal. If a conservation agreement is donated, it is the landowner s responsibility to provide an appraisal to the IRS, the state and the land trust. There are substantial penalties imposed on both the donor and the appraiser for fraudulent overvaluation used in claiming a charitable contribution. The donor, appraiser and the grantee of the conservation agreement must all review and sign IRS tax form 8283 in order for the donor to claim a federal income tax deduction. If a conservation agreement is purchased for its appraised value, then the grantee of the agreement must secure an appraisal that substantiates the purchase price. If a conservation agreement is purchased for less than its appraised value (a bargain sale ) and the landowner seeks tax benefits for the difference between the sale price and the value, then the landowner must provide an appraisal to the IRS, the state and the land trust.

130 12 What is required to complete and convey a conservation agreement? For a landowner to donate a conservation agreement that qualifies for a federal tax deduction and/or state tax credit, the following documents must be prepared: Conservation agreement (drafted by either the grantee s or the grantor s attorney and agreed upon by all parties) Baseline documentation report of the property (prepared by land trust staff, a biologist, planner or other consultant; see below) Qualified independent appraisal Title work (prepared by an attorney) Survey and legal description (prepared by a surveyor) Subordination of any deeds of trust and mineral rights IRS Form 8283 (to be attached to the federal tax return of all individuals claiming charitable contributions more than $5,000, prepared by the grantor or his accountant, and signed by the grantor, grantee and appraiser) Environmental assessment of the property for hazardous materials, also known as a Phase I Report Owner s affidavits and certifications If a landowner is selling a conservation agreement, all documents are subject to review by the funding source(s) and the agreement s grantee. In either case (sale or donation), an inventory of the property called a baseline documentation report is required to document the condition of the property, any improvements and its conservation values at the time the transaction is completed. This report includes maps, photographs of existing improvements such as buildings and roads, and a description of natural habitats. The report identifies areas where reserved rights (such as timbering or future home sites) are permitted and more ecologically sensitive areas where such uses might not be allowed as determined in the conservation agreement.

131 North Carolina s Land Trusts 13 For additional information about conservation agreements, please contact: Land Trust Alliance Southeast Program P.O. Box Raleigh, NC (T) (F) Conservation Trust for North Carolina 1028 Washington St. Raleigh, NC (T) (F) One of North Carolina s local land trusts: Black Family Land Trust Blue Ridge Conservancy Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy Catawba Lands Conservancy Davidson Lands Conservancy Eno River Association Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust Land Trust for the Little Tennessee LandTrust for Central North Carolina Lumber River Conservancy National Committee for the New River North Carolina Coastal Land Trust North Carolina Rail-Trails Northeast New Hanover Conservancy Pacolet Area Conservancy Piedmont Land Conservancy Sandhills Area Land Trust Smith Island Land Trust A subsidiary of Bald Head Island Conservancy Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Tar River Land Conservancy Triangle Greenways Council Triangle Land Conservancy

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133 TAX INFORMATION FOR DONATIONS OR PARTIAL DONATIONS OF CONSERVATION EASEMENTS As of January 2016 Conservation tax laws and programs are subject to change at any time. For the most up-to-date information, consult your personal tax advisor. Federal Income Tax If a landowner donates a permanent conservation easement on his or her land, the donor may claim a federal income tax deduction for the fair market value of the conservation easement as determined by a licensed appraiser. This deduction can also be claimed for a charitable sale, or bargain sale, in which the easement is sold for less than market value. The existing incentives, which Congress made permanent in December 2015, include: Landowners can claim a deduction of up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income in any year; Qualifying farmers and ranchers can deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income in any year; and Landowners can take those deductions the year of the gift and carry them forward for up to 15 years (or until the value of the deduction is exhausted). For example, a landowner who donates a permanent conservation easement valued at $1 million and who has an annual adjusted gross income of $100,000 may deduct 50 percent of $100,000 ($50,000) in each of years 1-15 for a total of $750,000 in deductions. The remaining $250,000 may not be carried over or used after year 15. The conservation easement donation must meet the requirements of Section 170(h) of the IRS tax code, and every deduction must be based on a thorough, honest, realistic and independent appraisal prepared by a qualified and licensed appraiser. The appraiser, landowner and land trust accepting the easement all sign IRS form Federal Estate Tax Conservation easements can be ideal for landowners who want to protect their land permanently while reducing its taxable value by giving up certain development rights. This may help prevent the breakup of family farms or estates necessitated by otherwise heavy estate tax liability. When a landowner places a conservation easement on his or her land, the highest and best use of the land is restricted by the terms of the conservation easement and estate taxes are assessed according to that measure at the owner s death. A landowner may also provide for a conservation easement to be donated to a land trust in his or her will. If the land trust accepts, then the donor s estate may claim a charitable deduction for the value of the conservation easement. State Income Tax The appraised value of the donated component of the easement may be deducted like any other charitable deduction from your state income tax, similar to other allowable federal and state charitable contributions. Although North Carolina established an income tax credit for donated conservation easements and conservation

134 lands in 1983, the General Assembly repealed it effective January 1, 2014, so landowners may no longer claim this state income tax credit. During its existence, the NC Conservation Tax Credit helped conserve approximately 250,000 acres of natural areas and farms throughout the state. Land trusts will urge the state legislature to reinstate this successful program, which provided tremendous public benefits (protection of clean air and water, wildlife habitat, working farms, and scenic vistas) and incredible value to all North Carolinians. County Property Tax When a landowner places a conservation easement on his or her land, the taxable value of the land is reduced by the terms of the conservation easement. Reduced taxable value as assessed by the county equates to lower annual property taxes. Valuation of conserved property varies from county to county, so the amount of reduction in assessed value is difficult to determine until it is reassessed by the county. Landowners will need to complete an application for reduction in assessed value due to the easement. In addition, if the land is enrolled in the Present Use Value (PUV) program for agricultural, forestry, wildlife or horticultural land at the time the easement is placed on the land, the property can continue in PUV regardless of whether the production or management requirements of the program are met, as long as at least 25 percent of the appraised value of the easement is donated. Thank you for considering conservation as an option for the future of your property. Please note that a land trust cannot guarantee approval of any application for county, state or federal tax benefits associated with a conservation easement donation. Furthermore, land trusts cannot provide legal or financial advice. We encourage you to consult with an attorney or financial planner for details specific to your situation.

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