Ways To Protect Your Land
The most common tool used by Shasta Land Trust to protect land is the Conservation Easement, but we can also purchase property outright or assist other organizations with projects.
A Conservation Easement is a legal agreement which permits certain uses of the land while permanently prohibiting other uses that are incompatible with protecting the property’s conservation values. Conservation Easements ‘run with the land,’ meaning the Conservation Easement is attached to the property’s deed so that the property is forever subject to the terms of the Easement. Under a Conservation Easement, however, the land remains in private ownership and can be sold or passed down to heirs. Each Conservation Easement is tailored individually to reflect the property's features and landowner goals.
Donated Conservation Easements
The most common type of Conservation Easement is a donated Easement. In these instances, the landowner donates the full value of the Conservation Easement, which can often be used to obtain substantial tax benefits for the landowner. Shasta Land Trust assists property owners to complete these transactions and craft the terms of each Easement.
Purchased Conservation Easements
In some cases, Shasta Land Trust may be able to secure funding to purchase a Conservation Easement from landowners. This strategy works only for large properties which have substantial conservation values. Purchasing Easements generally requires a longer time period in which to complete the transaction, and the tax benefits to the landowner may be reduced or eliminated as compared to a donated Easement.
Bargain Sale of Conservation Easements
Another common method involves a partial purchase of an Easement, which is sold to the Trust at less than the full fair market value. Such transactions are called “Bargain Sales,” and can often offer a blend of cash and tax benefits which can be a very appealing combination to some landowners.
Shasta Land Trust may also accept gifts of land that have significant natural, scenic, or agricultural resources, which the organization can use as a nature preserve or demonstration working land. In donating the property to us, the owner may receive substantial tax benefits in addition to the knowledge and peace of mind that their land will be permanently protected.
Shasta Land Trust may also accept gifts of land, known as trade lands, that we can sell or transfer to another organization or individual without permanently protecting them. Shasta Land Trust uses the proceeds from these sales or transfers to protect lands of high significance elsewhere, build our long-term stewardship fund, and advance our mission.
Landowners can include Shasta Land Trust in their estate plans. Landowners can leave property or a Conservation Easement to Shasta Land Trust in their will. We appreciate and understand the generous motivations of such gifts, as well as the commitment to future generations they provide.
We request the courtesy of working with landowners during their lifetimes on such transactions to ensure their objectives will be realized and also to have the opportunity to thank the donor for their generosity.