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The hallmark of Utah Open Land’s innovative tools is the conservation easement. A conservation easement is a binding, legal agreement entered into mutually by a landowner and Utah Open Lands for the purpose of protecting the special features of a property by restricting development.

Think you're interested in our forever promise?
The conservation easement process begins here. 

First steps:  Preview our Landowner Guide, for FAQ, Tax Incentive information, Important details, Appraisals and Lawyers info. and More >>>

Next steps: Complete and submit a Landowner Worksheet, which brings us up to speed on your property which we'll need before moving forward.>>>
Through a Conservation Easement, the land remains in private ownership.
The land remains in private ownership while Utah Open Lands assures that the terms of the agreement are followed in perpetuity. The landowner can continue to live on and use the property, sell it, or pass it on to the next general. Because the easement restricts the development rights of the property, the fair market value is reduced, which consequently lowers the estate taxes. Additionally donors of conservation easements may receive a charitable deduction for their contribution and, therefore, income tax benefits.

Conservation Easement Criteria
In accordance with the provisions for conservation easements set up under 170 (h) of the IRS CODE, in order for a property to qualify for a conservation easement it must adequately protect one of five listed conservation resources criteria.

Conservation Investor Program
In situations where it is not financially feasible for a land trust to purchase a property or an easement on a property and no conservation buyers exist or UOL is not interested in planning and carrying out a limited development, a viable alternative is the utilization of conservation investors. A conservation investor may be defined as an individual, corporation, partnership, limited partnership, or limited liability corporation that acquires a key conservation property and works collaboratively with a non-profit land trust to protect the property’s unique values.

Are there tax incentives? 
Yes there are--In December of 2015 Congress made permanent a federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations that can help thousands of landowners conserve their land. Use the button more for additional information.  LEARN MORE ABOUT TAX INCENTIVES
What is a Conservation Easement?
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