Conservation & Preservation

Preserving Our Land and Protecting Our Watershed Resources through Conservation Easements.

The North Texas region is knitted together by waterways that extend into and through farms and ranches, and through towns and cities.  Stewardship of land and water resources will conserve the watershed for our children and grandchildren.  Depending on the circumstance or landowner’s preference, the protected land can remain in private ownership, continuing to sustain agriculture, ranching and other rural purposes.  Or, the protected land can be used to fulfill a public purpose such as recreation, education or greenbelt buffer.

A conservation easement offers one of the best ways to permanently preserve natural features of land, whether floodplain, a meadow, trees, a creek or wetland.  It is a legal agreement made with the landowner to maintain natural conditions and to limit future development of the property.

What is a conservation easement?

A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. It allows you to continue to own and use your land and to sell it or pass it on to heirs.

When you donate a conservation easement to Upper Trinity Conservation Trust (UTCT), you give up some of the rights associated with the land. For example, you might give up the right to build additional structures, while retaining the right to ranch. Future owners also will be bound by the easement's terms. The Trust is responsible for making sure the easement's terms are followed on a long-term basis.

Conservation easements offer great flexibility. If the donation benefits the public by permanently protecting important conservation resources and meets other federal tax code requirements it can qualify as a tax-deductible charitable donation. The amount of the donation is the difference between the land's value with the easement and its value without the easement. Placing an easement on your property may or may not result in property tax savings.

Why should I grant a conservation easement to UTCT?

People execute conservation easements because they love their open space land, and want to protect its natural features along the creeks and streams - - which helps to safeguard the quality of water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat.