We help landowners conserve their land.
Some of Alabama’s greatest family-owned landscapes are threatened by fragmentation and development. We help landowners protect these areas through conservation easements. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently protects the conservation values of a property by limiting or restricting certain uses. Landowners continue to own and use their land, including carrying out traditional forestry and recreational practices. They can also sell it or pass it on to heirs. When the land is inherited or sold the restrictions of the easement stay in place.
Conservation easements in Alabama are typically donated to a land trust by the owner. If the donation benefits the public by permanently protecting important conservation resources and meets other federal tax code requirements, it can qualify as 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.
A conservation easement can be essential for passing land on to the next generation. By removing the land’s development potential, the easement lowers its market value, which in turn lowers estate tax. Whether the easement is donated during life or by will, it can make a critical difference in the heirs’ ability to keep the land intact.