Do you love the undeveloped land you own? Do you ever wish it could stay that way for generations? Well if you want to preserve the natural state of your property, the answer is a conservation easement.
The Northern Neck Land Conservancy is a small non-profit land trust on the Northern Neck of Virginia. They help landowners who want to voluntarily protect their lands with permanent conservation easements to ensure that their property sustains the rural character of the Northern Neck and maintains a healthy environment for future generations.
A conservation easement is a written legal agreement that provides the landowner with the opportunity to place his or her land into a permanently preserved state.
The Northern Neck Land Conservancy will hold an informational forum on Thursday evening, February 20, in Warsaw to explain how landowners can preserve their property from development and help maintain the rural nature of the Northern Neck.
The NNLC is a nationally accredited organization served by a professional staff that can guide landowners through the easement process. Local volunteers also assist. Last year the group helped landowners preserve more than 1,000 acres in conservation.
The Ashton family put their land in an easement a decade ago. “Land conservation serves the community by growing green space for future generations,” said Stuart Ashton, Jr., the Conservancy’s vice president. “And there are tax benefit rewards in return for these gifts to the Commonwealth.”
When landowners donate a conservation easement, they maintain ownership and management of their land and can sell or pass the land on to their heirs, while foregoing future development rights. Easements offer great flexibility for the land is preserved as the landowner wishes; perhaps as a timbering area, a working farm, or an open space area. The use of the land and its future state is the decision of the landowner.· It is a voluntary process, completely up to the landowner. Present and future owners of the property are bound by the easement’s terms and conditions. The taxes on the land are reduced, which is a benefit to the landowner, and the owner may be entitled to tax credits, which may be sold or applied to future tax payments.
The NNLC forum will be held at the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative headquarters at 173 Pine Street, Warsaw, VA 22572 (which is the brick building at the corner of Pine Street and Belle Ville Lane) on February 20, starting at 6 pm with light refreshments.
Board members and staff will explain the conservation easement process, often used to protect woodlands, marshes, farmland or other natural habitats or land.
Kirwan King, Land Conservancy president, will discuss his experience with conservation easements from his own experience with Grove Mount Farm in Richmond County.
“Conservation easements can make good business sense and keep family farms in the family, which is the key to successful Virginia agriculture,” King said.
Executive Director Elizabeth Friel will field questions.
For more information contact: Elizabeth Friel, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Northern Neck Land Conservancy
Picture: NNLC Director, Elizabeth Friel, presents easement sign to Jackie Morris, Richmond County easement holder.