What is a...CONSERVATION EASEMENT?
As an owner you hold rights similar to a handful of straws. Each straw represents a right of ownership. An easement is the transferring of some of the straws, development or other uses, to the land trust to hold in perpetuity.
The GLLT agrees to hold, but cannot exercise the rights and to monitor the use of the land.
Your land does not have to be spectacular, unusual, pristine or large to qualify for a conservation easement. But the property under easement must have conservation value that needs to be preserved.
Conservation Easement Donors Usually Reserve Certain Rights:
- The right of retaining ownership of your property
- The right to sell it
- The right to restrict public access
- The right to reserve certain uses on the whole or part of your property
- The right to give it or bequeath it to whomever you choose.
A Conservation Easement is Appealing Because…
- It is voluntary.
You elect to donate an easement.
- It is flexible.
- Each easement is tailored to fit your needs and wishes and the goals of the GLLT.
- It is efficient.
- It is a private agreement that applies to all present and future owners of your land.
- It can save you money.
- It potentially offers income tax, capital gains and estate tax savings if certain conditions are met.
Easements held by the GLLT are rich and diverse—waterfront property, including an undeveloped cove that serves as habitat for fish and waterfowl; a woodland that is a haven for wildlife and includes a wooded scenic vista for the public; wooded lakefront “back land” that protects the water quality ; farmland that will remain productive.
Most easements are restricted to preserve the special environmental value. These limits can be customized if you wish to preserve how you and your family use your land in the future. You may want to reserve the right to build trails in a wooded area; to construct an outbuilding; to reserve a portion for an additional house lot; or to allow snowmobiles.. These are all examples of terms that have been written into GLLT-held easements.
GLLT can also accept donation of a conservation easements as a charitable gift.
Receiving a donated conservation easement puts less financial pressure on the GLLT than purchasing property. The cost of maintaining the land and the benefits of its continued use remain with the landowner.