Conservation EasementsConservation Easements
with the Cibolowith the Cibolo
A conservation easement is aA conservation easement is a
legal document which containslegal document which contains
permanent restrictions on thepermanent restrictions on the
use or development of theuse or development of the
The purpose of a
To provide a proven tool for land
owners who want to personally
define and put in place permanent
The protection of wildlife habitat
The protection of open space
The preservation of agricultural
Why consider aWhy consider a
conservation easement?conservation easement?
1. Preserve natural heritage1. Preserve natural heritage
for future generations.for future generations.
2. Prevent heirs or subsequent2. Prevent heirs or subsequent
third parties fromthird parties from
“ranchetting” family land.“ranchetting” family land.
3. Continue existing uses for3. Continue existing uses for
agricultural & recreationalagricultural & recreational
4. Maintain limited residential4. Maintain limited residential
uses with reserved buildinguses with reserved building
2.2. Income tax benefits.Income tax benefits.
4.4. Estate tax benefits.Estate tax benefits.
6.6. Gift tax benefits.Gift tax benefits.
How is a conservationHow is a conservation
easement valued?easement valued?
An independent appraiser
sets the value by
determining the difference
in the values of the
property before and after
it would be encumbered
by a conservation
Can deduct the value of the easement as
a charitable gift, up to 50% of your
Adjusted Gross Income each year, for
16 years, until the value of the gift is
used up. (Up from 30% for 6 years).
Individuals or corporations can deduct
up to 100% of AGI if the majority of
that income came from farming,
ranching or forestry.
The value of the donated easement can be
deducted from the taxable value of the estate.
An additional 40% of the land’s restricted value
can be excluded, up to $500,000, if the
easement meets certain conditions under IRC
After the death of the landowner, the estate may
donate an easement and obtain an estate tax
deduction for the value of the easement.
Gift Tax Benefits
Gifts of property during a property
owner’s lifetime can reduce or
eliminate gift taxes.
Deductible annual gifts are limited, up to
a lifetime total of $1,000,000, without
incurring gifts taxes.
A conservation easement donation made
before the gift reduces the value of the
property, and the amount of gift tax.
A local land trust is a private non-A local land trust is a private non-
profit organization, whose board ofprofit organization, whose board of
directors are members of thedirectors are members of the
community in which the trustcommunity in which the trust
operates. The land trust is theoperates. The land trust is the
recipient of a conservationrecipient of a conservation
A land trust has the responsibility forA land trust has the responsibility for
enforcing development restrictionsenforcing development restrictions
contained in a conservationcontained in a conservation
easement. Representatives of a landeasement. Representatives of a land
trust annually inspect the property.trust annually inspect the property.
What is a local land trust?What is a local land trust?
Is public access required?
Will this prohibit allWill this prohibit all
No. The landowner canNo. The landowner can
reserve rights to havereserve rights to have
additional homesites, toadditional homesites, to
use for agriculturaluse for agricultural
purposes, hunting,purposes, hunting,
fishing, or recreation.fishing, or recreation.
However, the landownerHowever, the landowner
must sufficiently protectmust sufficiently protect
the conservation values.the conservation values.
Can I sell the property or
transfer ownership? YES.
Will the land trust own the
property? NO, the land
trust only holds the
easement and protects
the restrictions you place
on the property.
Do land trusts
Yes. The land trust isYes. The land trust is
assuming theassuming the
responsibility forresponsibility for
enforcing your legacyenforcing your legacy
in perpetuity. Landin perpetuity. Land
trusts need to meettrusts need to meet
expenses and build aexpenses and build a
legal defense fund.legal defense fund.
What are theWhat are the
first steps?first steps?
Contact family attorney,Contact family attorney,
estate planner, orestate planner, or
Meet with local land trust.Meet with local land trust.
Survey property.Survey property.
Environmental assessment.Environmental assessment.
Draft a plan of restrictionsDraft a plan of restrictions
and reserved rights.and reserved rights.
Talk with family.Talk with family.
Next StepsNext Steps
Letter of intent signed byLetter of intent signed by
all property owners andall property owners and
land trust.land trust.
Approval by land trustApproval by land trust
Board of DirectorsBoard of Directors
Sign ContractSign Contract
File at Court HouseFile at Court House
Founded in 1998 as a sisterFounded in 1998 as a sister
organization to theorganization to the
Cibolo Nature Center.Cibolo Nature Center.
Holds 11 easements,Holds 11 easements,
totaling over 4 squaretotaling over 4 square
miles of the Texas Hillmiles of the Texas Hill
Member of the Land TrustMember of the Land Trust
The Cibolo Conservancy
B Contact the Cibolo ConservancyContact the Cibolo Conservancy
B Phone: (210) 601-4599Phone: (210) 601-4599
B Address: 25 Spring Creek RoadAddress: 25 Spring Creek Road
Boerne, TX 78006Boerne, TX 78006
B Email:Email: firstname.lastname@example.org@cibolo.org
B Visit: The Cibolo Nature Center inVisit: The Cibolo Nature Center in
Boerne City ParkBoerne City Park