Many Valley landowners have already made the choice to make a difference — protecting the conservation values of their land for the enjoyment of future landowners and for future generations.
Here’s how it works: You’ll obligate yourself and subsequent owners of the property to the wishes you set forth for your land. In return, you will be eligible to receive federal income tax deductions and enjoy peace of mind knowing your beloved property will be preserved.
In all cases, you will continue to own the property or be able to sell it or pass it on to your heirs, and in many cases you can live on the land, build a house, barn and outbuildings, or hunt, fish, farm, harvest timber, or otherwise use your property the way you always have.
The legal name for this voluntary land protection agreement between you and the Trust is a “conservation easement”. Federal and state governments are not involved, unless you elect to receive a cash payment from a federal or state agency for your conservation easement.
Conservation easements are meant to be flexible. You can decide for yourself what balance of development rights and restrictions makes the most sense for you. Once the deed of conservation easement agreement is recorded, it cannot be removed. All future owners will be bound by the easement’s terms. Federal Income tax and local real estate tax breaks that come with placing a conservation easement on your property can be significant. A conservation easement agreement may also make the difference in your heirs’ ability to keep the land, because conservation easements allow significant inheritance tax benefits as well.
It’s the job of the Trust to make sure that the easement agreement terms are followed in the years to come. We will continue to watch over your land, making annual site visits to ensure your conservation easement restrictions are upheld. We will take every step necessary to uphold your wishes.
By entering into a conservation easement agreement with the Trust, your easement will be handled with confidentiality. Like others who have signed conservation easement agreements with us, we are certain you will gain great personal satisfaction and peace of mind knowing your land is protected forever.