Ways to Conserve Land

  

Overview of Conservation Options

Landowners who are interested in permanently protecting their land have several conservation techniques from which to choose. (These options are further explained in the Publications listed further down this page.)

  • Donating or Selling Land to a nonprofit conservation organization or government entity. 
     
  • Placing a Conservation Restriction (CR) on a property. A CR is a voluntary, legal agreement  that allows landowners to retain ownership of their property while permanently restricting most development activities. The CR may, however, permit activities such as farming, forestry, and hiking. The provisions of the CR become part of the property deed and pass to new owners in perpetuity.
     
  • Creating a Reserved Life Estate allows a landowner and his or her beneficiaries to use the property during their lifetimes or for a specified period of time. At the end of the specified term, ownership is transferred to a land trust.
     
  • Donating Land by Bequest allows a landowner to use and enjoy his or her land and ensures the land will be conserved if it doesn't need to be sold during the landowner's lifetime.

In addition to these permanent options, some Massachusetts landowners reduce their local real estate taxes by putting their land in a Chapter 61 program. 
  

Publications

Resources

UMass Amherst Keystone Cooperators Project
Keystone Cooperators are landowners and community leaders who can help you find the resources you need to achieve your conservation goals. Keystone Cooperators have training in forest ecology, land protection, forest management, and wildlife habitat. They are not conservation professionals but are peers who can share their knowledge with you. Find a Keystone Cooperator near you

Local and Regional Land Trusts
The website of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition (MLTC) lists more than 170 land trusts and organizations in the Commonwealth that can help you understand your conservation options and work with you to protect your land. Find a land trust near you

Service Providers: Attornies, Surveyors, Accounts, etc.
The MLTC website also lists professionals and service providers who can help you navigate the intricacies of land conservation. Find a service provider
  

Land Protection Project Examples

Here are some examples of how SVT has worked with private landowners, municipal governments, and local land trusts to conserve land in our region:

Contact Us: SVT’s Land Protection Staff

We are always willing to discuss your conservation options with you and point you toward the best resources for your situation. Contact information for our Land Protection staff is listed on the Contact SVT page.