Protect your land—forever
Nationwide and around the corner, people are determined to conserve the places we love. Landowners have a deep connection to their land and know the gifts these special places provide—clear air and water, fresh food, wildlife habitat, peace and well-being and scenic beauty.
All too often these natural places can disappear forever. Individuals like you who want to conserve their land can turn to land trusts—nonprofit organizations that work with landowners interested in protecting open space.
We’re thrilled you’re interested in protecting your land and are happy to work with you!
How to Protect Your Land
How land trusts can help
Land trusts work in local communities to conserve special places for all time. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, that’s great. So how does it work? Land trusts protect land directly by buying or accepting donations of land or of conservation easements. Land trusts can help landowners tailor a conservation plan to their individual situation and financial circumstances, and determine the property’s conservation values and future ownership. For a list of local organizations you can contact, see our coalition members or find a land trust office near you.
What land can be protected?
Land trusts protect a variety of landscapes, but many concentrate their efforts on:
- Natural habitat for wildlife, fish and plants such as prairies, forests, bluffs or wetlands
- Watershed areas like lakeshores, rivers, streams and streams
- Scenic landscapes, particularly those with cultural or historic significance
- Working landscapes like farm, forest, and ranch lands
Land trusts have many options available to help landowners conserve, protect and restore land.
Two of the most popular options are:
Where land trusts own and manage land that is donated or purchased
Where landowners and a land trust or government agency enter a legal agreement to permanently limit the use of an area to protect conservation values. Landowners still own the land or can sell or donate the easement to land trusts.
Why Work with a Land Trust?
Because they can help you meet your goals and share your values—protecting places you care about for generations to come. Land trusts are also rooted in the communities in which they operate and are familiar with the land in the area. They can draw on community resources, including volunteer time and skills. Their community orientation is also helpful in selecting and negotiating transactions.
The nonprofit tax status of land trusts brings them a variety of tax benefits. Donations of land, conservation easements or money may qualify for income, estate or gift tax savings. Properly structured land trusts are exempt from Federal and State income taxes and sometimes from local property and real estate transfer taxes as well. Additionally, due to the fact that land trusts are private organizations, they can be more flexible and creative than public or government agencies, and can often act more quickly. They can hold and manage land and other assets as a corporation, and are able to negotiate with landowners discreetly.