Below is a short list of frequently asked questions about protecting your property.
Why do people conserve their land?
Throughout Tug Hill, families and people like you are considering if land conservation is right for them. There’s no one reason why someone conserves their land, but there is an overarching theme: they love their land, and they want to see it remain free of haphazard development for years to come.
What is a conservation easement?
If you decide you want to conserve your land and retain ownership of it, or sell all or a portion of it once conserved, you are likely going to use a tool called a conservation easement.
A conservation easement is a legal, voluntary, agreement between a landowner and land trust such as Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, or a municipality, that creates a conservation plan and corresponding goals and restrictions to achieve those goals. The agreement addresses future sub-division, whether or not additional house sites will be reserved, sensitive areas on the property that may need additional attention, and current and future uses on the property that would be compatible with conserving the land. Public access is not required as part of a conservation easement project, although you can incorporate it as you feel appropriate. Incorporating trail access, if it made sense given your property, might increase your federal and/or state tax deductions.
How long does it take to complete a conservation easement project?
A relatively straight-forward conservation easement project can take four to six months to complete if we have the project staff available and materials in-hand. However, the process often takes much longer. On average, clarifying the conservation goals, drafting the related documents and compiling the baseline documentation takes twelve to eighteen months.
What costs will you as a landowner incur during the process?
Every project is unique, yet there are consistent expenses which may include financial and legal advice, appraisals, surveys, and costs to the land trust. Please do not let these costs discourage you from moving forward with a project. If you do not have the resources to help with these costs, we will work with you to develop a payment plan and brainstorm about how to find other sources of funding through grants to help cover these costs.
Can a conservation easement be changed?
Tug Hill Tomorrow maintains a policy of discouraging amendments to our conservation easements. However, recognizing that conditions do change over time, there is language within the easement document allowing for the legal amendment of the document. Tug Hill Tomorrow will only approve amendments that strengthen or do not negatively impact the overall protective terms of the easement.