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WHAT IS A CONSERVATION EASEMENT?
A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement made between a landowner and a qualified non-profit conservation organization such as the Central Arizona Land Trust. This agreement provides for reserved and restricted uses of the land. The conservation easement property remains in private ownership and public access is not a requirement. The landowners retain all land rights to sell, convey, and pass on to heirs. Tax benefits may be available when easements are conveyed on lands containing conservation values that are significant to the public—for example: agricultural lands, significant wildlife and/or plant habitat, and scenic open space.
"Conservation of special landscapes is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When a willing landowner partners with a local land trust, they preserve the future of that landscape forever."
CALT Board President
CALT CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
CALT held conservation easements are integral to overall enjoyment of our communities. They ensure that lands with significant natural, cultural working lands resources remained undeveloped. This protection supports healthy air and water throughout our region and are important places of refuge for both people and wildlife.
CALT conservation easements (shown on map to the right) include six on City of Prescott Open Space with trail access. The agricultural conservation easement is located in Skull Valley on the W Diamond Ranch, now known as the Seven Spears Ranch. This is a working cattle ranch and does not allow for public access.
Water that passes through a natural hydrologic system is more likely to remain clean and abundant. Conservation easements can prevent certain kinds of development in critical areas, thereby strengthening these important natural systems.
WORKING FARMS AND RANCHES
Working lands are are an integral part of Arizona's scenic landscapes. Arizona's ranchlands have put food on our tables, money in our local economy, and preserved critical open spaces for generations. Often, a conservation easement is the best way to ensure this part of our cultural heritage and economy continues into the future.
Conservation easements can be critical for preserving migratory routes and habitat of native plants and animals, especially on lands that might otherwise be developed. Easements can be written to still allow productive use on private land and do not require public access.
Outdoor recreation is part of the living, breathing fabric of our communities and our lives in central Arizona. A surprising amount of private land provides access to our public lands. Conservation easements can ensure that this access is passed down through future owners for public benefit.
For many landowners, a conservation easement means knowing that the generations of stewardship that have gone into their family lands will not be lost in the future. An easement may also be the key to ensuring continued family ownership and management of those family lands.
A conservation easement can be a great tool for establishing certainty about future uses of a property. Used wisely in estate planning, a conservation easement can provide peace of mind for current owners, their heirs, and future generations alike.
When it is created, a conservation easement is valued by a qualified appraisal. When an appraised easement is donated, the gift is recognized as a charitable contribution. The tax incentives associated with the gift can be beneficial to the donor. There are additional estate tax benefits that apply to conservation easements.
Outdoor recreation is part of the living, breathing fabric of our communities and is a significant contribution to the economy of Central Arizona.
Conservation easements can be used to ensure that a viable recreational opportunity is not lost to changes in land use caused by new developments.
LIFE AS AN EASEMENT LANDOWNER
Central Arizona Land Trust accepts the perpetual responsibility to make annual visits to all of its conservation easement lands to ensure that the purposes of each easement are realized. With each visit CALT strives to to maintain a healthy working relationships with all current and subsequent landowners.
"Through our strong partnership with the Central Arizona Land Trust on the Thumb Butte, Payne-Granite Dells and Boyle Debusk Conservation Easements, we have enhanced our open space footprint and expanded our nationally-recognized public recreational trails network. We are very grateful for their efforts and look forward to working with them on the protection and preservation of open space in Prescott for years to come."
-Michael Lamar, City Manager for the City of Prescott.
The Central Arizona Land Trust is an Arizona nonprofit corporation and is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) and a qualifying organization under Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code for the acceptance of conservation easements.
Central Arizona Land Trust
PO Box 1050
Prescott, AZ, 86302
Office Location: 1577 Plaza W. Dr., Prescott, AZ 86303