Protecting Land Introduction

You and your family have kept your land free from harmful development for years. Whether a working farm, forest land, shoreline, or other open space, you would like to ensure that it remains as it is, for your children and for future generations.

The good news is that you can protect your land. Working with a land trust (a private, nonprofit conservation organization) or government agency, there are many ways you can save land of conservation, historic, scenic, or other open space value-but only if you make plans for your land’s preservation.

Why must you take action, when you simply want to keep your land as it is? Federal estate taxes are one reason. They can be as high as 55% of a property’s fair market value, virtually forcing heirs to sell all or part of the land to pay the taxes. And, of course, future owners may be compelled by ever-increasing property values-or simply by a lack of appreciation for the land-to sell it for development.