Conservation Easements

Do you own land that you would like to see remain free from development for your lifetime and for future generations?

Doing nothing to protect it may doom your land to development. Why? Estate taxes are one reason. Federal taxes can be as high enough to force heirs to sell it. And, of course, future owners may be compelled by ever-increasing property values and taxes--or simply by a lack of appreciation for the land--to sell it for development. Heirs may relocate or be in positions where owning the land is no longer attractive.

Shown below are a few of the options open to you:

Conservation easement

A legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently protects land while the landowner continues to own it. Donating the easement can result in reduced income tax and estate tax.

Land Donation

Donating conservation land to a land trust is a wonderful way to share its beauty with future generations. The donation can even be set up in a way that allows you to continue to live on the land or to receive a life income.

Bargain Sale of Land

Selling land to the land trust at less than its fair market value can make it affordable for the land trust and provide tax benefits for the landowner.

Your Next Step

  • Contact a land trust: A land trust can help you arrive at a conservation plan that makes the most sense for you, and can put you in touch with attorneys, appraisers, accountants, and land planners familiar with conservation techniques. One such organization is the Upper Saco River Valley Land Trust. Another is the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
  • Contact the Conservation Commission: The Conservation Commission administers conservation easements for several properties where the easement is held by the Town of Jackson. The Commission can help get the process started and put you in touch with the right people.
  • Talk with your own legal and financial advisors: Each person's tax and financial picture is different, so it makes sense to consult with your own attorney and advisors about the possibility of a conservation easement.