Why Protect Your Land?
Conserving your land helps to protect the qualities that make your community a great place to live:
- Protecting sensitive habitats and resources: forests, fields, wetlands, and more.
- Clean water: Healthy landscapes filter the water that flows into our drinking supplies.
- Scenic views: Natural beauty gives us joy — and it boosts property values, too.
- Recreation: Opportunities for you and the public to get out and play.
- Economic Growth: Conservation supports industries including forestry, tourism, and recreation.
- Health: Clean water, air, and time in nature are all key to human health.
How to Protect Your Land
There are two main ways to protect your land: conservation easements and transfers of land. All land proposed for conservation by LELT passes through a review process to determine if the land has suitable conservation values as well as other factors.
Donating Your Land
Donations of conservation easements and land are encouraged, as Loon Echo has limited funds available. In certain instances, Loon Echo will purchase land or easements of high priority lands as determined by its Board of Directors.
Donations of land and conservation easements (for qualified conservation purposes) are charitable contributions according to the IRS, and therefore certain federal income tax benefits are granted. In addition, land and conservation easements can be granted by bequest. There are many personal family considerations and tax implications that help shape such a decision, so consulting with your legal and tax adviser is important. If you have an interest in conserving your land for the benefit of future generations, we’re here to discuss options available through Loon Echo Land Trust.
- Find out more by downloading our landowner booklet, “Working Together to Conserve Land.”
- Still not quite sure how it works? Click here for a list of FAQ’s, answered by the Land Trust Alliance.
If you wish to own, manage, and pass your property onto your heirs, while ensuring it’s natural resources are protected, then a conservation easement may be the best tool.
A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. The easement’s restrictions are attached to the property deed, and thus remains in effect forever. It is the trust’s job to monitor the property to be sure and ensure the conditions of the easement are enforced in perpetuity.
Each easement is tailored to protect the land’s natural and cultural values, meet the landowners’ financial and personal needs and meet the conservation goals of LELT. Loon Echo encourages that forested and agricultural lands follow best management practices, and that the land not be posted against public use.
If you wish to conserve the land, but don’t want to continue ownership, then transferring your land along with the management responsibilities to Loon Echo may be the best option.
Land transfers result in the land trust holding full title to a property. A donation of land is usually the simplest method to conserve its resources and it gives Loon Echo the flexibility to manage the land according to best management practices.
Several of our preserves were donated to us by generous landowners who wished to provide the community an opportunity to appreciate its natural and scenic values.
We’re Here to Help
For more information on land conservation opportunities please contact us.