HOW TO SAVE YOUR LAND

We’re here to help

For over 30 years, Winnakee Land Trust has worked in partnership with private landowners to conserve thousands of acres of open space, forests, farms, wetlands and watersheds, and wildlife habitat that are critical to the region’s communities. Private lands encompass the majority of some of the Hudson Valley’s most critical vulnerable habitats and open spaces, and your land donation might be one of the most impactful things you can do for future generations.  

Are you a landowner? Contact us so we can explore options regarding your land and your legacy.

The lasting difference you can make

If being a part of this effort interests you, there are many tools that can be used to make a difference for your family, your community, and the environment. Winnakee will work with you closely and confidentially as you make decisions for your land, and will be there to ensure the land is stewarded and protected forever. Over 60% of at-risk species in the U.S. live on private and family-owned forestland, and your choice to protect your land in perpetuity can play a very important role in wildlife protection. You have an opportunity to protect the scenic vistas, critical wetlands, farms and forest lands, which make this region so attractive and provide indispensable ecosystem benefits. 

Tax benefits to landowners for land protection

There are many ways to protect your land while deriving tax benefits and other advantages — all while supporting conservation.  Your financial advisor can best advise you of the myriad benefits offered to your family as part of creating a lasting environmental legacy. 
 

You can help to ensure that in one year, ten years or 100 years — the natural lands and rural character that we love about the Hudson Valley will endure for the next generation.

Bob Davis, Executive Director

THE GIFT OF LAND

An outright gift of land for conservation is one of the most generous legacies a landowner can give future generations.  Donating title of your land to create a preserve ensures the land’s permanent protection and offers significant financial advantages.  These simple transactions provide land donors maximum income and estate tax benefits with transfer of ownership and management responsibilities to the Land Trust.  In addition, Winnakee’s stewardship-focused conservation model ensures that these lands will benefit from long-term sustainable management plans that further enhance their contribution to our region’s environmental health and habitat restoration for imperiled species.

DONATING CONSERVATION EASEMENTS

Conservation easements allow donors to retain ownership and use of their land, including agriculture, while protecting its conservation value in perpetuity.  A conservation easement is a powerful way for a private landowner to ensure the permanent protection of a special natural place. Easement terms represent a voluntary legal agreement between the landowner and Winnakee, tailored to the specific property and the landowner’s goals.  Landowners retain the right to sell, donate, or bequeath the land with the conservation easement carried on to all future owners so that the natural character of the land is protected forever. Provided that certain criteria are met, easements carry significant tax benefits.  In addition, an easement on a cherished property may make the financial difference that enables your heirs to keep your land in the family. Learn more about Conservation Easements.

DONATION OF PROPERTY TO GENERATE CONSERVATION FUNDS

In some cases, other types of real estate is donated to the Land Trust with the understanding that it will be sold to generate needed funds for the organization’s conservation work.  These generous gifts can create program support to further our mission while providing significant tax benefits to the donor. If the property has conservation value, the organization may sell the land subject to a conservation easement—generating income while ensuring the land’s long-term protection.  This approach keeps the land in private ownership and on the tax rolls and generates proceeds to further additional land acquisitions.  Depending on the details, this option enables the donor to quickly liquidate an asset, eliminate broker’s fees, and in most cases to take a charitable deduction for the fair market value of the property, as well as other tax benefits, while positively impacting future conservation.

BEQUESTS & GIFT PLANNING

Many landowners wish to retain maximum flexibility during their lifetime and choose to carry out their conservation plans through a bequest or a living trust.  Through this approach, a landowner can conserve important lands by donating property to the land trust through their will.  A bequest is a provision in the landowner’s will or revocable trust that instructs the estate’s executor to convey land or other assets to the land trust.

LANDOWNER RESOURCES

Stewarding lands to reach their optimal ecological potential is essential to Winnakee’s long term conservation strategy. Winnkaee is here to help provide landowners with resources to maximize the resiliency of their land, increase biodiversity by restoring rare species habitats, control harmful invasives, and become part of globally important connective land corridors that secure pathways for many species survival. View Landowner Resources.

Take the Next Step

To explore options for conserving your land, please contact our Director of Philanthropy,
Leslie Kidder, at (845) 217-0939 or lkidder@winnakee.org. We welcome your questions and are here to help you and your family with resources on how you may benefit from conserving your land and leaving a lasting legacy.

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