Conservation Options

If you own land in Sharon, or know of a special place in our community, you can make a lasting difference in Sharon’s future by getting involved in land conservation.

We work with families and landowners to conserve all types of properties including historic farms, family woodlots and forestlands; mountain ridgelines, wildlife habitats, and undeveloped shoreline along our towns pristine lakes and wetlands. The most commonplace approach to conservation incorporates the donation of a conservation easement or the purchase of a conservation easement. Some landowners choose to donate their land to us directly, while others add provisions in their wills to bequeath their property or a conservation parcel to the Land Trust.

Considerations When Planning A Conservation Easement

The decision to conserve your land requires consideration of your personal financial situation, your land’s natural resources and features, and most importantly your vision for the future of the land that is special to you. We encourage participants to speak with your tax and legal advisers in order to better understand all the benefits and details involved with a conservation easement. The process of conserving land can last anywhere from six months to several years. There are some costs often involved such as a personal adviser fees, land appraisal fees, and frequently one time costs associated with stewardship. Our goal at the Sharon Land Trust is to help guide you through the process of what conservation method would best suit your personal vision for your land.

Donating Land to the Sharon Land Trust

A donation of land is one of the most generous gifts a landowner can make to the Sharon Land Trust. A gift of land can offer relief from the expenses and responsibilities of ownership and provide a number of tax benefits, including a federal income tax deduction. There is also a Planned Giving Option that allows a landowner to donate land while continuing to live on it.

Conservation Easement Sales

When it comes to protecting Sharon’s most treasured resources such as farmland, broad tracks of forest, open space, and places of great community importance. We often seek funds to help purchase land. In some cases SLT is able to purchase the conservation easement outright. By purchasing conservation easements, we have been able to protect local farms, large tracts of open land, and rich forestland.

Selling a Conservation Easement for less then the full land value

This method of conservation combines the charitable act of giving with some finical incentives to the landowner associated with the sale. With this option, a landowner sells the easement or sometimes a parcel of land, at less than the appraisal value, thereby donating a portion of the value to the Land Trust. Sales such as this would often be for productive, high quality land that the Land Trust or other municipalities wish to acquire for public use. For the landowner, the donation may qualify as a charitable gift which can provide tax benefits including reduced income and capital gains taxes. To learn more about this method of conservation please contact us today.

Selling Land to the Sharon Land Trust

Occasionally, when an crucial piece of land is at stake, SLT will purchase a property outright. A farm at risk of impending development or sale, or it may be a swimming hole or forest grove that the town has identified as an important heritage, scenic, or recreational site worthy of enhanced protection.

In these special cases, we often act as a short-term owner while we help facilitate the purchase of the land by the town, non-profits, or other agencies. Having community involvement, enthusiasm, financial support, and a strong vision for the long term ownership are crucial for these types of purchases. If you know of a piece of land that fits these requirements then please contact us today.

Copyright 2015 Sharon Land Trust