• image11
  • image1
  • image8
  • image14
  • image10
  • image17
  • image7
  • image2
  • image3
  • image5
  • image16
  • image12
  • image13
  • image6
  • image4
  • image15
  • image9

Easement Process

What is the process for donating a conservation easement?

  • Landowner/Land Trust discussion. The landowner meets with the Teton Regional Land Trust and describes his or her long-term plans for the property, including planned building sites, restoration projects and agricultural activities. The landowner discusses these plans with his/her tax advisor. The Land Trust describes its policies, how an easement works and other conservation options, but does not provide financial and legal advice.

  • Title work. The landowner provides a recent title report to the Land Trust. A specific minerals report may be necessary if the landowner does not own the mineral rights. The landowner must also secure subordination of property mortgages.

  • Board review. A subset of the Land Trust’s board, the Conservation Committee, reviews the proposed project to make sure it complies with the Land Trust mission and goals.

  • Drafting the Easement: The Land Trust uses information provided by the landowner and additional resource information as needed to draft a conservation easement for the landowner and his/her legal advisor to review. The landowner and the Land Trust work together and with their legal advisors to negotiate easement terms that are acceptable to both parties.

  • Baseline Report: The Land Trust conducts a baseline study of the property's historic and present land uses, including agriculture, man-made features, ecological features, wildlife use and habitats, soils, hydrology, geology, and scenic values. For landowners who claim income tax deductions for easement donations, baseline data must be collected prior to the granting of the easement gift as an IRS requirement.

  • Appraisal of the Property: The landowner hires a qualified appraiser to assess the economic value of the conservation easement and works with his/her legal advisor and appraiser to ensure that the conservation easement complies with all federal regulations.

  • Final Board review. The Conservation Committee and Board review an abstract of the easement terms, project details and conservation ranking criteria and decide whether to grant final approval to the project.

  • Sign and record the Easement: After approval, the Conservation Easement is signed, and the document is recorded at the courthouse in the appropriate county.

  • Monitoring the Easement: In accepting the easement, the Land Trust assumes responsibility for assuring to the IRS that easement provisions will remain effective in perpetuity. The Land Trust will have the responsibility of monitoring the property once or twice/year to assure that easement conditions are met.