YOUR Local Land Trust
Do you have a special place that you love? BLC is the only local land trust with a focus on the watersheds feeding into Lake Houston (primarily contained within northern Harris and Montgomery counties). We have a passion for the incredible diversity of wildlife and vegetation within our unique environment. BLC works with landowners willing to conserve their special places through the use of Conservation Easements.
Conservation easements are legal agreements between a landowner and a land trust that allow the landowner to retain ownership of their land, while permanently giving up certain rights that would endanger the property’s integrity or conservation values. A conservation easement is flexible and tailored to suit the landowner’s needs.
It is important to note that these are voluntary agreements between the landowner and Bayou Land Conservancy; we are not, in any way, a state or federal agency. However, the federal government does specifically authorize land trusts (not just any 501(c)(3) agency) to hold these conservation agreements. These are formal, legal documents that are recorded in the county records wherever the land is located.
Benefits of a Conservation Easement
A conservation easement maintains the natural habitat and beauty of your land. It protects your land permanently from future commercial development while preserving the legacy and culture of your property.
It can also potentially decrease landowner property taxes, federal income taxes and estate taxes. While no land trust can advise you on the actual tax benefit of donating a conservation easement (refer to your tax advisor for this), they can help you determine if your land has potential for conservation, and if so, how to proceed with the best conservation strategy.
You can still live on and use the land! Farm or ranch land can absolutely be protected from future development while allowing the landowner to continue farming the land. A landowner may retain the right to build a house on a designated portion of the property, while preserving the rest of the land and its primary conservation values (i.e., land near streams or wetlands might be preserved, while allowing a homesite in a less sensitive upland area).
How do I proceed?
The best strategy for considering any conservation option is to contact Bayou Land Conservancy to ask about the different options that are available to protect your land.
To download your copy of the Conservation Easement Process, click the graphic above.
The Conservation Easement Booklet provides the step-by-step process for landowners to preserve their easements. Click here to download your copy today!