What is a Land Trust?
A land trust is an entity, typically not-for-profit, which accommodates long term landowner wishes through conservation easements or holding of title in order to perpetually protect real assets.
The Land Learning Foundation (LLF) is a member of the Land Trust Alliance (Alliance). The Alliance is an organization that supports qualifying land trusts and creates standards of practice to which they are to adhere. LLF follows the Standards and Practices set forth by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. LLF focuses its land trust initiatives toward the environmental and agricultural landscapes of Missouri and southwest Illinois.
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a third party such as The Land Learning Foundation (LLF). LLF works with landowners to ensure the use of the property protects its conservation values. Landowners will still own their land and can continue use of the property except for those restricted in the easement. Protections vary from easement to easement. Conservation easements are typically perpetual, but can be for a period of years. Perpetual conservation easements run with the land and future ownerships will be subject to the protections set out in the conservation easements.
There is currently a federal tax incentive in place for conservation easement donations. If you would like to place a conservation easement on your property to conserve unique and precious natural resources, you can still use your land while also receiving a deduction. There are tax incentives for landowners donating conservation easements which can be deducted over a 15-year period.
A brochure for landowners summarizing the conservation easement tax incentives prepared by the Land Trust Alliance can be found here.
We cannot give tax advice, and suggest that you consult a tax law professional to learn more and to receive advice specific to your situation.