My wife Elaine and I have placed 392 acres in Craig County under easement, and we have gained great satisfaction in knowing that even after we die or even if our heirs sell the land, the development restrictions placed on the land because of the easements will remain in effect. The conservation easements assure that our rural land will always remain rural, something wildlife many decades from now will benefit from.
When we placed our first property under easement, we were unaware that we would receive major tax benefits from doing so and that we would even receive tax refunds from the federal and state governments because, theoretically, we made the land worth less by restricting development on it.
To us, though, rural land is always emotionally worth more than the most developed lot in a city – no matter what the bottom line says. Local, state, and regional land trusts exist throughout the country and chances are that one exists near you. For more information, consult the following.
Land Trust Alliance (national organization): www.landtrustalliance.org