Land Conservation: Incentives, Acquisitions and Easements

Property conservation – the practice of holding land open up and free of development – has become a significant real estate activity in the United Says. Since 1988 voters across the country have approved spending around $54 billion dollars on land conservation in state and local boule measures, in line with the Trust for Public Land. Additional private money is spent on conservation through non-profit land trusts and conservation by individuals and corporations. Property conservation is now an important component of smart development efforts, as well as for environmental protection and recreational opportunities. Landman Services Canada

Understanding the purpose, various techniques available and other issues associated with land conservation is essential for real real estate and appraisal professionals. Terrain owners may receive benefits for conserving their land, but must also be aware of costs and potential issues. Sale for land for conservation may have additional benefits. Terrain conservation programs can have significant impacts on areas, valuation, and can influence use of adjacent land as well as the land being conserved. Ramifications for permanent maintenance cost, valuation and taxes may be complex and substantive. 

Many land conservation activities make an effort to preserve the land in a natural condition to achieve environmental benefits. Other approaches may aim to preserve agricultural use rather than a natural environment. In any circumstance, the overriding objective is usually to work cooperatively with property owners to limit urban development as a way to achieve other general population goals.

Land conservation activities is often as simple as an individual landowner deciding not to develop land, but instead preserve the natural environment. Land conservation can happen with relatively simple easements on private property that prevent future development. Easements can be sold, exchanged for other land, provide tax reductions, or granted for a variety of other considerations. Preservation can also occur through cost simple purchase of land. Purchase might be based upon the full market value or another discussed value allowing some continuing use or tenancy by the seller.

Government organizations are normally involved in land conservation efforts. Other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as non-profit land trusts and other conservation organizations may be partly or only involved. Much more sophisticated circumstances, all the government and NGO entities and available tools can be utilized in some combo to preserve larger properties or areas.

The essential conservation tools are:

Personal action – attempts for individual land owners to conserve their land because it benefits quality of life for themselves and the public. In the past, farming and ranching has maintained open land as an inherent part of the land use. Today, some individuals are acquiring and operating farms and ranches specifically for resource efficiency purposes. Ted Turner is perhaps the best known, and is the most significant private landowner in the United States. His working ranches are economically feasible businesses that simultaneously support conservation goals, including drinking water resource management, reforestation and reintroduction of native varieties.

Land acquisition – cost simple purchase of the land by government, land trusts, other conservation organizations or voluntary donation by the property owner. A great acquisition example is the Richardson’s Bay Sanctuary, located on the edge of San Francisco Bay in California. The Audubon Culture purchased submerged and upland areas to provide home for wildlife and migratory water birds.

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