Land Preservation with the Wlt:
The Warren Land Trust welcomes donations of land and conservation easements that will serve its mission to preserve farmland, open space, natural and endangered resources such as wetlands, forests and wildlife habitats. Land preserved by the Warren Land Trust is permanently protected and cannot be developed or sold for development purposes.
The Warren Land Trust has established criteria for accepting donations of land and easements, and will evaluate each project on its own merits after careful investigation of the property, its resources, and the potential public benefit:
Offers significant relief from urban and suburban encroachment and which help to define the rural character of the community.
Provides scenic views from public roads or trail corridors.
Important farming resources.
Provides a buffer or are adjacent to or are in close proximity to existing protected areas, thus broadening an area of protected land and enhancing viable trail corridors or other recreational opportunities or habitat for plants and wildlife.
Important for preserving the quality and quantity of surface or underground waters, or for providing the natural control of flooding (such as wetlands, alluvial and high water table soils, and riparian buffers).
Contains habitat for plant or animal species classified by the state or federal government as rare, endangered, or threatened.
Contains exemplary or critical habitat for plant or animal species not classified as rare, endangered, or threatened.
Sufficient size that the resources being protected are likely to remain intact even if adjacent unprotected properties are developed.
Reasonably determined to be free from any hazardous wastes, or other contamination which could expose the WLT to litigation.
Reasonably determined to allow physical access for inspection and will not present difficulties in monitoring the site.
Preservation is consistent with the Town Plan of Conservation and Development promulgated by the Town of Warren.
All donations to the WLT are tax-deductible to extent permitted by law as we are a non-profit, duly qualified 501(c)(3) organization. We work closely with our donors to help facilitate their donations of land and conservation easements.
The Warren Land Trust does not give advice on tax matters, and the following consists only of general information from publicly available sources; please confirm current accuracy with your personal legal and tax advisors.
land donations (fee simple)
If you wish to donate land, this may be accomplished by means of a deed from you to the WLT, which can be prepared by our attorney or your attorney. The deed can include restrictions concerning the future use of the property, if you so desire, and is recorded with the Warren Town Clerk. No conveyance taxes are due for any donation to a land trust.
A written appraisal by a qualified real estate appraiser is required in order to receive a tax deduction for land donated to a land trust. The fair market value of the property, as determined by the appraisal, is the value of your charitable donation to the Warren Land Trust.
Another common alternative for preserving land is through a Conservation Easement (“CE”) (sometimes referred to as a Conservation Restriction). CE donors retain ownership of their land and forego the right – as does any future owner - to develop the property and conduct any activities that might reduce its conservation value. This agreement is recorded on the Warren Land Records and is legally enforceable in perpetuity.
The WLT may provide a sample Conservation Restriction agreement for your review. The final document is tailored to reflect the special conditions of the property and its potential future use.
A written appraisal is also required in order to receive a tax deduction for the donation of a Conservation Easement. An appraisal will determine the value of the Conservation Easement which is equal to the difference between total market value without the restriction and its value once the conservation restriction is in place and the land can no longer be developed.
ongoing stewardship of wlt properties
When the WLT accepts a donation of land or conservation easement, it becomes its honor and obligation to steward and protect it in perpetuity. WLT stewardship practices include preparing a Management Plan, annual monitoring visits to the property, the annual cost of insurance, and responsibility to take action in the event of encroachments or other threats to the property. Following national Land Trust Alliance guidelines, the Warren Land Trust seeks to raise funds for each accepted parcel to meet these stewardship obligations. A contribution to our Stewardship Fund - based on the size of the parcel and the estimated cost of stewardship for the donated parcel specifically - is requested of our land and conservation easement donors, and is deeply appreciated.
Read this booklet from the Connecticut Land Conservation Council (the “CLCC”) for more information about land preservation: