Conservation easements are individually tailored agreements through which landowners voluntarily limit the use and development of their property to permanently preserve its natural or scenic features. These features – called conservation values – might include significant wildlife and plant habitat, lake or river shoreline, wetlands, or important scenic or cultural lands which benefit the public.
In order to protect these conservation values, certain restrictions on use of the property and the reserved rights of the landowner are detailed in the conservation easement, which is a legal, recorded document. The conservation easement is conveyed to a non-profit land conservation organization such as River Bend Wildland Trust. It is our responsibility to legally defend and protect the conservation values specified in the easement document. Conservation easements are perpetual; they apply to the current owner and all future landowners, permanently protecting the property.
You can also donate your land to River Bend Wildland Trust outright. We will protect the land with a conservation easement and convey to an appropriate conservation-minded owner. In some scenarios we may maintain ownership to utilize the property for education purposes. The decision to keep or transfer ownership comes down to the ability to properly care for the property. Donating land with an endowment for stewardship is ideal.
Land cannot only be donated during one’s lifetime, but also at the time of death. If you’re interested in leaving your land in this manner, please contact us so that we can discuss your conservation goals for the land. Our staff can be reached at 309-517-1571
River Bend Wildland Trust will work with developers, planners, and local units of government to design conservation-oriented developments. These developments specifically minimize impacts to surrounding land and waters while preserving open space and natural areas.
Multiplying Your Land Conservation Dollars
Every land protection project has multiple funding sources. Private foundations make up part of the funds for purchasing land, though they usually require matching funds. A significant donation for land conservation will almost always be leveraged to do greater conservation projects. You may even get to choose the name of a preserve.