What’s our land protection criteria?
The Land Trust’s goals are to protect ecologically significant areas but also to welcome the community to use the land whenever community values are enhanced and ecological values are not impaired. BTLT works to protect both types of properties using an extensive list of ecological and community value criteria and is conscious of the feasibility constraints in all projects.
Why protect your land?
One important advantage to working with BTLT to protect your land is that as your local land trust we are very closely tied to the needs and values of the community, and familiar with the diverse aspects of our local landscape. It is important to us that we are able to take the time to really understand your particular piece of land, and the values and needs that you and your family have tied to it.
- Perhaps the simplest conservation method to understand, a “Fee Simple” property is one where the Land Trust buys or accepts a donation of the land, and owns it outright. We then grant a conservation easement to another conservation organization, the town, or a government agency.
- The land you own has many rights associated with it, including such things as mineral rights, water rights, and broader rights to develop and use the property. By placing an easement on your land you voluntarily limit just some of those rights. Many of your rights are not significantly impacted by an easement, such as the right to sell or lease the property, or (if you choose) the right to keep the public off your property. And you retain full title to your land.
- Most important to keep in mind is that easements are both voluntary, and unique – specifically tailored to the property owner’s wishes and unique resources on the landscape. As such, placing an easement on the land typically has no impact on your current use and day-to-day activities on the land. Instead, the rights that are transferred are those that you never wanted to exercise anyway, such as the right to build a subdivision or a shopping mall.
- BTLT works closely with the land owner so that every easement suits the unique wishes of the landowner and nature of the land, so that your land can continue to be used and enjoyed in line with your goals.
- Easements can be sold or donated to the land trust
- Donated easements are considered a tax-deductible charitable donation. The amount of the donation is the difference between the land’s value with the easement, and its value without the easement.
- As a small membership driven nonprofit, we cannot always afford to purchase easements outright, but if you have determined that this is the only financially viable option for you and your family, we are always open to considering this option, and seeking funding.