Mary sits above the grotto surrounded by craggy rocks.

A conservation land trust is a non-profit organization that works hand-in-hand with landowners to conserve land. It is a charitable corporation under Federal tax laws. A land trust allows for the conservation or preservation of important natural, cultural and community resources, promotes sound land stewardship practices and provides a means of carrying on the traditions of the land owner or community.

A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement that allows a landowner to limit the type or amount of development on their property while retaining private ownership of the land. The landowner continues to own the property after executing an easement. Therefore, the owner can sell, give or lease the property, as before. However, all future owners assume ownership of the property subject to the conditions of the easement.

Deed restriction is a restriction placed within a deed that controls the use of the property. Restrictions travel with the deed and cannot generally be removed by new owners.

Transfer or selling of development right: We may consider the ownership of land to be the possession of a “bundle of rights” associated with that land. These rights include the right to possess, use, modify, develop, lease or sell the land. The purchase of development rights involves the sale of that right while leaving all the remaining rights as before. Once an agreement is made, a permanent deed restriction is placed on the property, which restricts the type of activities that may take place on the land in perpetuity.