CCLCLogo P.O. Box 884 * Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

Conservation Easement Intro

How Does a Conservation Easement Work?

Qualifying for a Federal Income Tax Deduction

A Conservation Easement Can Significantly Reduce Estate Taxes

Donating a Conservation Easement by Will

Your Next Step - Available Options

To Protect and Preserve Natural and Scenic Chippewa County Lands.


How does a Conservation Easment Work?

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust (a private, nonprofit conservation organization) of government agency that permanently limits a property's uses in order to protect it's conservation values.
When you only land, you also "own" many rights associated with it, such as the rights to harvest timber, build structures, and so on. When you donate or sell a conservation easement to a land trust, you permanently give up some of those rights. For example, you might give up the right to build additional residences, while retaining the right to grow crops. Future owners also will be bound by the easement's terms.

The conservation easement (called a "conservation restriction" in some states) is written up in a legal agreement that is tailored to protect the land's conservation values and meet the financial and personal needs of the landowner. An easement on property containing rare wildlife habitat might prohibit development of any kinds, for example, while one on a farm might allow continued farming and the building of additional agricultural structures.

In some cases, a conservation easement may apply to just a portion of the property, leaving the option of development open for the remaining part. It may allow limited building within the area under the easement.

The land trust takes on the responsibility and legal right to enforce the easement. If a future owner or someone else violates the easement - perhaps by erecting a building the easement doesn't allow - the land trust will work to have the violation corrected. (The land trust usually asks for donation from the easement donor to help offset the cost of future stewardship expenses.)