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FAQs

What is a land trust?

A land trust is a nonprofit organization, the main mission of which is to assist in the conservation of land for its natural, recreational, historical or productive values. It can purchase land for protection, accept donations or bequests of land, or accept the donation of agricultural or conservation easements which permanently limit the type and scope of development of the land.

How Does The Killbuck Watershed Land Trust Operate?

The land trust is funded by private contributions and grants.  It is governed by a Board of Trustees.  It is a charitable organization and is registered as a 501 (c) (3) tax- exempt corporation.  Thus, the landowner may be eligible to receive a tax benefit for making a donation of land or money.  When planning to make a donation of land, the landowner is encouraged to obtain advice of his or her tax professional and/or attorney in order to determine if such an action will fulfill the landowner’s intentions and purposes.

What is a Conservation Easement?

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or a governmental agency that permanently limits the development of the land in order to conserve its agricultural or natural value.  The landowner continues to own and operate the land.  Its use is simply restricted by the terms of the easement.

How Long Does a Conservation Easement Last?

Most easements “run with the land,” binding the original and all subsequent owners. Since the easements are recorded in the County Recorder’s office, it is notice to the public that the land is subject to the easement, so that all future owners and lenders will learn about the restrictions when they obtain title reports on the land.

What Will The Land Trust do With The Land if I Donate an Easement?

Before the conservation easement is signed and filed at the county recorder’s office, the land trust will cause a baseline report to be made which documents by official maps, photos, and a written report, the condition and state of the real estate at the time the easement agreement is entered into between the landowner and the land trust.   Every year after the easement is granted, the land trust is responsible for monitoring the easement to insure that the conditions of the easement have not been violated. The landowner is free at any time to sell the land or pass it on to heirs, subject to the restrictions placed upon the land by the terms of the easement.