YOUR LAND | Strategies
Land trusts use a variety of creative methods that achieve conservation goals while meeting specific needs of the community and landowners. Many approaches offer income, estate, or property tax benefits that help make conservation affordable.
Land trust tools include:
Donation: The land owner gives property to the land trust by gift or will.
Purchase or bargain sale: The land trust buys the property from the landowner. Sales for less than market value, called bargain sales, reduce the cost to the trust and offer tax benefits to the seller.
Life estate: The landowner sells or donates the land, but retains the right to live on it throughout his or her lifetime.
Limited development: The land trust arranges a strategy whereby the least environmentally significant portion of a property is carefully developed in order to finance conservation of the rest. Limited development may be used when conservation of an expensive property would otherwise be impossible.
Conservation easement: The landowner enters into a perpetual legal agreement with the land trust that permanently restricts harmful uses and development of the property. The land stays in private ownership and use, and the land trust sees that the restrictions are carried out. Also known as conservation restrictions.