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"Together, Saving the Island We Love"


  • Appraisal Report – The Internal Revenue Code requires a “qualified appraisal” prepared by a “qualified appraiser” for gifts of property, including Conservation Easements, valued at more than $5,000.
  • Bargain Sale – The sale of a conservation easement or land in fee simple title to a land trust or other qualified holder for an amount less than the appraised fair market value. Selling land at a bargain sale rate may enable the landowner to receive certain tax benefits.
  • Baseline Documentation Report – A record of the conservation values identified in the conservation easement and the relevant conditions of the property used to monitor and enforce the conservation easement. Contains maps, photographs and text, and is signed by the landowner and land trust at closing.
  • Conservation – The care and stewardship of natural resources.
  • Conservation Easement – A conservation easement is a perpetual legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization, such as a land trust, that restricts future activities on the land so as to protect its conservation values (wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, important agricultural soils, etc.) while also allowing the landowner to continue owning the land.
  • Conservation Purposes – The purposes a conservation easement must serve to be a tax-deductible donation, as defined by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) s. 170(h) and the associated Treasury Regulations.
  • Deed – A legal document by which ownership to land and interests in land are transferred.
  • Fee Simple – The interest in land, being the broadest property interest allowed by law, held by a landowner.
  • Greenway – An area with a critical mass of nearby and connected open spaces which together afford a community substantial benefits such as wildlife habitat corridors, sweeping scenic views, recreational corridors that can support long nature trails and other major outdoor opportunities, agricultural corridors, long buffers for critical water supplies, etc. Fragmentation of nearby open spaces, caused by development, is one of the greatest threats to a greenway. Conserving key open spaces within a greenway with perpetual conservation easements is thus very strategic.
  • Land Conserved with a Deed Restriction – Land encumbered by deed restrictions and owned by a qualified holder organization, but the land lacks a perpetual conservation restriction held by an outside qualified holder organization.
  • Land Conserved with Conservation Intent Alone – Land owned by a qualified holder organization with the intent to keep the land in conservation but the land lacks deed restrictions or a perpetual conservation restriction held by an outside qualified holder organization. This is a weak level of protection because there is a lack of checks and balances and intentions change regularly. Good conservation is like good government, it requires checks and balances!
  • Option Agreement – A contract made to keep an offer open to purchase a Conservation Easement, land in fee simple title, etc. for a specified period, so that the offeror cannot revoke the offer during that period.
  • Purchase and Sale Contract – A contract between a buyer and seller for the purchase of a Conservation Easement, land in fee simple title, etc.
  • Stewardship – Those steps necessary to preserve a conservation easement in perpetuity, including the creation of baseline documentation reports, regular monitoring, landowner relations including successor generation landowners, addressing amendments and enforcing easements.
  • Trail Easement – A voluntary legal agreement that allows a qualified holder (e.g., a land trust) of the easement to run and maintain a trail or trail segment across a property owned by another party.
  • Watershed – The region draining into a river, river system, or other body of water.