Preserve Your Vision

Responsible, engaged landowners who feel passionately about their properties often turn their thoughts towards the permanent conservation of their land. Work with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways to find a conservation solution that works for you and your family while ensuring the careful stewardship and preservation of your special land for generations to come. Read below to see how we can help you, and click here for additional resources from our partners!

Be Part of the Bigger Picture

Part of the beauty and excitement of land protection is knowing that your land fits into a much larger regional vision and strategy for conservation. The conservation of your land can help Moose Mountains and other organizations to create wildlife corridors, natural resource havens and fulfill our greenways vision! Work with us to understand how you can play an important role in a regional strategy.

A land trust is a non-profit organization, also known as a charity, which has as its mission the goal of protecting land from development in order to preserve natural and cultural resources, vital waterways, working agricultural lands and/or wildlife habitat. Land Trusts may also have other related purposes, such as education or forestry. Land trusts come in all sizes, from the worldwide Nature Conservancy, to the New Hampshire Forest Society, to Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG).

Land Trusts may either own conservation lands (called fee ownership) or may hold conservation easements on lands owned by individual landowners or other conservation organizations. Easements and land acquisitions cost money in legal and transaction costs, staff time etc, which are covered through a mix of private and public donations, grant programs and other sources. Built into every easement or acquisition are long-term restricted funds dedicated to future legal expenses (for example if an easement was violated) and ongoing stewardship (care and maintenance of the land). These funds work like endowments in that there is an initial deposit and future withdrawals are restricted in nature and typically only draw on accumulated interest. 

When you work with a land trust like MMRG, we act as guides and stewards in the conservation process. We will devote staff time and resources to help you accomplish your conservation goals. This may include completing funding applications, undertaking public fundraising campaigns, evaluating the conservation value of a property, providing landowner education and eventual ongoing stewardship of the property once it is conserved. The exact details of our work will vary depending on the conservation project, but it is our goal and responsibility to help guide you and communicate clearly with you throughout the process. 

There are many paths and motivations to land conservation. Ultimately, choosing a conservation outcome for your property is a personal choice which MMRG would be happy to support you in achieving. Many landowners choose conservation for the security of knowing that their beloved properties will remain intact and carefully stewarded in perpetuity. Conservation offers the promise of a truly awesome legacy to future generations as well as a dynamic way of ensuring regional protection and enhancement of natural resources, working farmlands, water quality, scenic and recreational opportunities and wildlife corridors.

Many people consider conservation outcomes for their land when they begin estate planning or are considering succession plans for their farmland. But, any time can be a good time to consider conservation! Conservation easements allow for land to continue to be used and managed, making it a tenable solution for individual landowners who plan to continue to live and work on their properties.

If you are interested in conserving your land, there are two main options. One is to donate or sell the land to a qualified conservation entity such as a land trust or municipality. This would be a transfer of ownership where a conservation entity would assume ownership of the land.

The other option is to place a conservation easement on the land wherein you would retain ownership but the uses of the land would be subject to limitation and future development would be prohibited.

Call us! Conserving land can be a long and complicated process, but the outcomes are lasting and invaluable. Call MMRG to speak with a qualified professional about the options for conserving your land. MMRG (or any other land trust) will not try to “sell you” – we are interested in helping you find the best outcome for your property. Our educational conversations with landowners are commitment-free and focused on your needs and goals.

These are features of properties that make good candidates for conservation:

  • Supports or allows public recreation and education
  • Has significant natural habitats or resources
  • Has significant open space or benefit to the public
  • Has historical/cultural significance

Yes! There are conservation funding programs and easement language/strategies designed for active farmland. Conserved land can still be farmed and farm operations can still grow (add barns, greenhouses etc). These can be more complex conservation projects, so it is important to engage in detailed conversations with conservation groups/land trusts regarding your practices, needs and property.

If your conservation project makes use of public funds such as state or federal grants, it is typically a requirement. That said, public access has many forms and the details of this access will be worked out through the easement process. If a landowner is shouldering the full costs of the easement and no public funds are used, public access may, in some cases, be restricted. There are existing liability shields in state and local law that protect landowners from liability for injury sustained on their land by the public.

A conservation easement (or a land donation) is a legal process with financial implications. While a Land Trust can offer basic guidance, it is strongly recommended that any conserving landowner consult independent legal counsel and a tax professional. It is also recommended that a landowner consider speaking with multiple land trusts before embarking on the conservation process and also consider the need for independent review of appraisals or other documentation required by the conservation process. In the end, the individual landowner bears sole responsibility for all legal, financial and other implications.

Ready to Get Started?

We’re so excited that you’re interested in taking the next step! Click here to fill out a brief form, and we’ll reach out to you soon to help you through the process and answer your questions.

Advice From Conserving Landowners