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  • Jodi Eberhardt

Leave A Legacy with a Conservation Easement

If you value your shoreland and adjacent lands as a “special place” that you would like

to preserve in its natural state for the continued enjoyment of your family and future

generations and protect fish and wildlife habitat and water quality, there are several

land protection options you can consider. These options will permanently

limit development and preserve the land’s natural features as a living legacy of your

conservation ethic.

Donate or sell your private land to a public entity, such as the state of Minnesota,

local government, or other qualified non-profit conservation organization, to

be managed in perpetuity for aquatic and wildlife habitat protection and public use

and enjoyment. If land value is donated, you may be eligible for an IRS charitable

donation for the conservation value of the land.

Place a conservation easement on your property that prohibits or limits future development on the land. The easement is a legally binding agreement between a qualified entity that holds the easement (government agency or qualified non-profit conservation organization) and you, the landowner, who voluntarily limits the use and development of the land in order to permanently preserve the land’s natural features and conservation value.

You still retain ownership and use of the land and the easement passes on to future owners to insure permanent protection of water quality and a healthy environment for fish and wildlife. Each easement is unique and tailored to the specific property and the landowner’s interests. There can be potential tax benefits (income, estate, or property)

to the landowner, depending on the circumstances and how the easement is defined. Preserving the land with a conservation easement has helped many families transfer

their land to the next generation with the natural features intact.

To learn more, contact your local SWCD or the Northern Waters Land Trust.

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