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How to Donate a Conservation Easement

Donation Process

ORLT will work with you to create a conservation easement that captures your vision for your property. Here are the general steps involved:

  • Meet with ORLT staff on your property where they learn about your conservation goals and your property's conservation features, and current and future uses

  • ORLT provides information on conservation easements, costs, and other services you might need (legal, financial, appraisal, title report, etc.), and answers any questions

  • ORLT board determines the project meets its criteria and staff provides you with a project letter covering the easement goals, steps, fees, and other requirements

  • Once you notify ORLT that you are ready to begin the project and donate the project fee, ORLT begins drafting the conservation easement and creating the baseline documentation report

  • ORLT reviews the title report and survey provided by you

  • You and your advisors review the draft conservation easement and baseline and the documents are revised

  • ORLT board approves the final documents

  • You and the ORLT chair sign the documents; the conservation easement is recorded in the county courthouse, and you provide the stewardship donation.

Conservation easements are forever, and you are encouraged to obtain your own legal and financial advice to help guide you.  Note that possible costs to you include:

  • Project donation: supports ORLT's preparation of the conservation easement and the baseline documentation report

  • Stewardship donation: supports ORLT's enforcement and monitoring of the conservation easement, forever

  • Title review costs:  title is reviewed at the beginning of the project and just prior to signing the final documents

  • Appraisal fees:  if you are seeking tax benefits, you will need a qualified appraisal by a qualified appraiser, in compliance with all requirements

  • Your legal and financial advisors

  • Survey (if there is no current or complete survey)

Landowner's Costs

Landowners donate a project fee to support the cost of preparing a CE and BDR. Landowners also make a one-time stewardship contribution to support the expenses ORLT incurs in monitoring environmental conditions on the property every year. Stewardship contributions are placed in a dedicated fund to help cover ORLT’s responsibility for monitoring and upholding the terms of the CE forever. Possible additional costs to the donor include donor's legal and financial advisor fees, a title report and title insurance, a survey fee if a new survey is necessary, and an appraisal fee.

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