Putting Virginia Lands Into a Land Conservancy

by Staff on September 8, 2012

Virginia Land ConservancyHow… and why… would you go about protecting your farm or acreage by putting it into a land conservancy in Virginia?  

Conservation easements are agreements to protect the land from certain types of development.  Those agreements are made between a landowner and and the holder of the easement (a conservation group in Virginia, see details in link below).   Those agencies may include the Department of Forestry, the Nature Conservancy, and the Central Virginia Land Conservancy.

There are tax benefits for the landowner to enroll his/her land in a conservation easement.  A conservation easement is also a way to protect farm or timber land from eventual subdivision or land usage that the landowner wants to discourage.  At this time, of the Virginia lands that are in private ownership, 5% are protected by conservation easements.

Common reasons for choosing an easement may include that the landowner wants to help protect farmland, hunting, fishing, forestry, or the general viewscape.   But by donating your land to a conservancy organization, it will impact your options to pass your property to your heirs.  An appraiser will give you a “before and after” valuation of the worth of your property, prior to entering into any agreement.  And you’ll want an attorney to coordinate the language of the agreement to be sure that you and the conservation organization understand the terms in the same way.

We frequently write about details of conservation easements.  You can find more details on the general scope of Virginia conservation easements HERE.   And here are links to other conservation land and farm sites.

 

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