This thing called ‘sense of place’, I suppose that’s what it’s all about for me and for others who believe so strongly in a particular chunk of this earth. It becomes so much a part of us that we will do everything possible to ensure that it will not be harmed when we’re not around to care for it. ~ John Gavitt
John is like hundreds of other landowners in the Cacapon and Lost Rivers watershed who have placed voluntary conservation easements on their property to protect what they love forever.
We are committed to working with landowners to ensure the conservation values of their land are protected, while they continue to fully enjoy their property. With an easement, landowners continue to own the property or can pass it on to heirs or sell it. Once the Deed of Conservation Easement is recorded, all future owners are bound to the easement’s terms.
If you are a landowner in the Cacapon watershed (portions of Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan counties) here’s how it works:
You will 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 protected forever. 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.
You will continue to own the property or be able to sell it or pass it on to your heirs. 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.
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.
If you care about protecting the farms, forests, water quality and wildlife of the Cacapon watershed, you can help support our work to protect what you love about this unique area of West Virginia, by making a generous donation to the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust. Your contribution will directly impact our ability to protect more land. Please be as generous as you can.