Conservation Easement Planning and Documentation
Planning, documenting and completing a Conservation Easement requires choreographing many different activities involving you the landowner, your advisors and consultants, and NALT staff. We can provide excellent value not only in the quality of the service we provide, but the coordination of your surveyor, lawyer and accountant to ensure that the project is completed efficiently and on time. In addition to handout that explains the distinct responsibilities that you face as landowner and those that belong to NALT, the outline below can help guide you through our process.
1. Easement Planning
- Easement Planning begins with getting to know you, your land and your goals by collecting basic information about your property and ownership history, including current land use and your visions for its future use. Based on these initial goals, we’ll schedule a site visit by a NALT conservation biologist. If you haven’t done so already, you should retain a “qualified appraiser” to advise you as to the potential tax incentives available to you. NALT has prepared a letter explaining your responsibility with respect to valuing your gift for tax purposes. This stage is similar to the Initial Site Visit, an optional service that is especially helpful if you are uncertain about your land’s potential.
- We provide some of the best conservation planning and mapping services available, bringing together data from many sources using AutoCAD and ArcMap. These services support the IRS-required Baseline Documentation including a Base Map, Environmental Conditions Mapping, Concept Plan and more. Read more
3. Baseline Documentation
- As required by the IRS, the Baseline Documentation memorializes the property’s condition with emphasis on its conservation purposes and values. This “snap-shot” in time establishes the platform for regular monitoring efforts. Read more
- A Baseline Documentation Report will include the following:
-Existing Conditions Report
-Documentation of Conservation Purposes and Values
-Evaluation of Requested Reserved Rights
-Photographic Documentation and Photo Index Map
-Conservation Opportunities and Constraints Map
4. Conservation Easement Document with Exhibits
- The Conservation Easement and Exhibits make up a legal agreement between landowner and NALT that permanently limits uses of land in order to protect the natural habitat, scenic resources or other conservation interests present on the property. Read more
- The purpose of monitoring is to ensure that the integrity of the conservation purposes remains intact through time and changes in ownership. Read more
Important Note: You may be considering the possible tax incentives associated with the donation of a Conservation Easement to NALT. Please understand that NALT does not provide tax, legal or financial planning advice. The grant of a Conservation Easement is a significant commitment that has complex real property and economic effects. You must rely on your own legal and tax advisors, and you are solely responsible for the appraisal of the value of any donation of a Conservation Easement.