Easement 101

Cozy Point Ranch3

 

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We view conservation as a partnership with you, the landowner. When you conserve your land with AVLT, we ensure the agreement we reach with you is honored forever. Below we cover some frequently asked questions but please feel free to contact us any time to explore conserving your land in further detail.

What is a conservation easement?

A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits certain types of future development while allowing for anticipated future uses on a property. Land placed into a conservation easement still belongs to the landowner, and the landowner retains the rights to see the land or pass it on to heirs.

When a landowner’s vision for their property is one of little change, a conservation easement can be a useful tool. Aspen Valley Land Trust doesn’t tell landowners how to manage their land, but focuses on the big picture by preventing subdivision, inappropriate industry, and the permanent sale of irrigation water rights.  A conservation easement does not grant public access nor any authority to any government agency. It is recorded in the county records and becomes part of the title to the land, acknowledged by future owners of the land.

 Benefits of conserving your land

· Your Legacy – Permanent protection of your land leaves a legacy for our children and the future. A conservation easement on your land today means that the generations of stewardship and care that have gone into your family lands will not be lost in the future. It may also be the key to assuring continued family ownership and management of your lands, ensuring your family’s legacy forever.

· Financial and Estate Benefits – Donating a conservation easement may generate significant financial benefits. You may use these incentives to plan for retirement, reduce tax burden, pay down debt, or reinvest in the land. Estate tax reductions may be realized as well, which can help keep land within your family for generations to come.

· Partnership and Support – We view conservation as a partnership with you, the landowner. When you conserve your land with AVLT, we ensure the agreement we reach with you is honored forever. Upon request, we also offer ongoing benefits such as access to land stewardship programs and resources, and assistance with technical land management issues.

· Working ranches and farms – Your family ranch or farm is woven into the fabric of our heritage and community. Working ranches and farms provide food for our community, put money into our local economy, and protect cherished viewsheds and wildlife habitat. Conserving your property is a first step toward ensuring this tradition continues into the future.

How your community benefits

· Clean and abundant water – Irrigation is essential to agricultural productivity, and lush green fields attract wildlife, raise the water table, and create wetlands and special areas for humans and animals. Lands that are protected along streams, creeks and rivers remain undeveloped, helping to keep the water clean. The conservation of your land helps protect these important natural systems for all.

· Wildlife habitat – Conservation easements can be a critical tool for preserving winter range for big game such as elk and mule deer, migratory routes for animals and birds, and habitat for native plants, especially on lands that might otherwise eventually be developed. Ranch and farm lands such as yours are often the most productive, diverse, and least fragmented private lands of Colorado, are one key to the health and productivity of many wildlife populations.

· Recreation – Colorado is known for its beauty, wide open spaces, and unrivaled outdoor opportunities. Whiles conserving your land does not mean you have to provide public access, you directly help protect the Colorado experience when you protect your land. Strip malls and large housing developments near and around our special recreation destinations would greatly diminish our outdoor experiences, impact wildlife and forever change our way of life.

· Health and Local Economy – Conservation supports the livelihoods and high quality of life for many in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. Agriculture, tourism, and recreation are important contributors to our local economy. By protecting our beautiful open spaces, clean air and water, and amazing recreational opportunities today, we ensure the prosperity of our community tomorrow.

Will my land be protected forever?

Conservation easements give people the assurance that the places they love will be protected forever. A conservation easement is a legal agreement that runs with the land, in perpetuity. The promise of forever makes land conservation especially meaningful — a legacy for future generations.

Are there certain criteria for my land to be considered for conservation?

Every property is special and unique and there are no minimum requirements for considering your project. If you’d like determine if your property is eligible for a conservation easement with AVLT, we’d love to hear from you.

I want to buy a piece of property that has a conservation easement on it. What do I need to know?

Each conservation easement is unique to that particular property. If the property you are interested in has a conservation easement on it held by Aspen Valley Land Trust, we’d be happy to discuss the terms of the easement with you so you can make an informed decision. Additionally, your real estate broker should provide you with a copy of the recorded conservation easement for your reference prior to buying the property. If you are unable to obtain it, please contact AVLT.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Aspen Valley Land Trust today.

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