Many landowners would like to see the land they care about stay productive and undeveloped for generations. There are several ways conservation can do this. Some options are charitable and others result in payment to the landowner. For information about your personal situation, we encourage you to contact us.
Donating a conservation easement permanently protects your land. Commercial and residential development are curtailed, but farming, forestry, and/or recreation are allowed. An easement may cover all or part of your land and will apply to all future owners.
Easement donations normally qualify as a charitable contribution; the value of your gift must be verified by an appraiser. Landowners usually make tax-deductible contributions toward the cost of conservation. Learn more.
Funding for conservation easements is sometimes available for working farms, land important to a community, or large forest parcels. Often, private contributions and competitive grants fund the purchase of conservation easements.
An independent appraisal sets the value of an easement. Because grants are competitive, landowners may choose to sell an easement for less than full value. If so, the discounted amount is a charitable contribution. Learn more.
Donating land to the Vermont Land Trust is a generous option that offers many tax benefits.
If land has conservation value, we will often conserve it before re-selling it. Proceeds from the sale will further our mission. If the land has important public benefit, we may give it to a nonprofit or government entity so that the public can enjoy it.
Want to donate land, but continue to live on it? Through a gift of land with a reserved life-estate, beneficiaries have the right to use the property during their lifetimes. When the beneficiaries have passed away, control of the property transfers to the land trust. Learn more about land donations.
Donating Land or a Conservation Easement through your Will
You can donate land or a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust through your will or living trust. A bequest in your will directs your estate’s executor to give the land or a conservation easement to us. A living trust achieves the same results but avoids the probate process. This option may also reduce your taxable estate.
If you are interested in this option, we hope that you will work with us to develop the terms of the future easement and language for your will or trust. To learn more, call Christa Kemp at (802) 262-1229.
Purchase of Land
When a special property is at risk for development, and we can find funding, we may buy the land. Land that we would consider buying include places important for public recreation, high-quality farms that are suited for our Farmland Access Program, or land of ecological importance.
Interested in conserving your land?
Contact one of our conservation staff members.