Regardless of their type, special sites are important and fragile. And, like our nation’s woodlands, they’re rapidly disappearing. Woodland owners have a unique opportunity to preserve these pieces of history before they vanish forever.
But good stewardship of special sites can also come with economic benefits. Many federal and state programs provide tax credits, financial assistance and other incentives to landowners who protect special sites.
Legally protecting special sites through a conservation easement can offer even greater benefits. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a state agency or land trust that ensures the land will not be developed. The agency or trust takes charge of enforcing the limit on development. In exchange, the landowner receives state and federal tax deductions and reduced estate taxes.
With the right conservation easement, you can retain ownership of your land, freely continue to harvest timber and otherwise manage your resources, and sell or pass on the property to your children or to the buyer of your choosing. The easement protecting your land’s special sites will simply stay with the land.