The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust has been honored to partner with the owners of some of our region’s most unique and beautiful places to protect their vision of their property into the future. CDLT works with each willing landowner to confidentially explore their goals and to determine the best mechanism to protect important habitat for generations to come. As our diverse Land Conservation projects demonstrate, these transactions can take many forms. Here are a few examples:
- A donation of land to CDLT for permanent protection, for example the Lorene Young Property.
- The gift of a conservation easement to CDLT, for example the Warm Springs easement.
- Where funding is available, the sale of the fee simple interest or a conservation easement to CDLT for full fair market value, or for a reduced amount (a “bargain sale”)
- The donation of cash, appreciated stock, or non-conservation real estate to CDLT to help support CDLT’s work on other properties. Read more about Planned Giving.
CDLT has criteria and a process for identifying priority lands to ensure that the land trust uses its resources wisely to further the public benefits such as wildlife habitat, water quality, public access and open space.
Is my property a possible candidate for protection?
The importance of particular criteria differ depending on the type of property.
- Fish-bearing streams and intact riparian areas
- Significant upland habitat
- Proximity to other protected lands for connected corridors
- Connections to existing or future trail systems
- Potential for community education and/or scientific study
What are possible benefits of working with the land trust?
- Confidence that your wishes for the future of your land will be honored
- CDLT can apply for grants to purchase fee simple or easements for some types of property
- Funds received for a conservation easement can help sustain other activities on the property while allowing landowner use compatible with conservation values
- Landowner donations or partial donations can leverage grant funding and provide income, estate and/or gift tax deductions for donations of cash, land, or partial interests in land (establishing and valuing the donation is the landowner’s responsibility under IRS regulations, consult your tax advisor)
- Owners of property subject to a conservation easement may apply for reduced property tax valuation under the Washington State Open Space Taxation program
- Consultation and resources on land management questions
Bargain sale: a sale for less than appraised market value, with the intent to donate the difference
Conservation easement: a legal agreement between the landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land to protect its conservation values. The landowner continues to own the land and can pass it on to heirs or sell it, subject to the agreed-upon restrictions. The Land Trust agrees to monitor and enforce the restrictions.
Fee simple: all rights, title and interest in real property
Further documentation can be found at the Land Trust Alliance.