Quick FAQ

What are the tax and financial implications?

The grant of an easement, donation, bargain sale and bequest have different tax implications and advantages, as well as different financial considerations.  A member of the trust would be pleased to discuss land conservation options with you.  Because the trust is a private organization, it can be more flexible than public agencies – and can act more quickly to conserve important lands.

Can I donate land?

Yes, you may donate property to the trust by gift or will.  The Land Trust assumes responsibility for managing and protecting the land.  The land donation can be arranged in such a way that you retain the right to live on the land throughout your lifetime.

Additional options:  Bargain Sale or Bequest  

You may sell your property to the trust at a price below what you could receive on the open market or you can transfer ownership of your property to the trust through your will.

What is a Conservation Easement?

This is a legal agreement between you (the landowner) and the Land Trust that protects your property by permanently limiting the way it can be used.  You retain ownership, use and enjoyment of the land protected by the Land Trust and do not have to open it to the public.  You can sell the land or pass it on to heirs knowing that the natural resources you value will be protected forever.  The Land Trust is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the terms of the easement are carried out.  Easements are unique to the site and to your wishes.  For example, you might choose to conserve the whole property or only some portion of it, or you might reserve the right to build a building or other improvement on a portion of the conserved land.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes, CWRLT is a non-stock, non-profit Wisconsin corporation with a Sec. 501(c) (3) tax exemption. This tax exemption allows all contributions (membership dues, member donations, and donations of conservation easements or land titles to the Trust) to be tax deductible as provided by law.

What is a land trust?

“Land Trust” is a term generally used to describe non-profit conservation organizations that either buy land or hold conservation easements, or both.  Land trusts work in partnership with landowners and communities to permanently conserve natural resources.  Some are large organizations working nationally, like The Nature Conservancy.  Others work regionally, and some work in very small locales.