Working together

to conserve  land

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The Value of Conserved Land

Protected land offers countless benefits to people and the natural world. Conserved forestland along waterways acts as a buffer from pollution and sediment runoff, which can ensure clean drinking water for well owners and public water supplies downstream. Healthy forests, meadows, and wetlands provide wildlife habitat and protect species biodiversity.

These areas also provide recreational opportunities, including fishing, hunting, and hiking. These uses drive our region’s local economy and tourism industry. For local businesses that participate in sustainable farming and forestry, these lands can provide raw materials for food and wood products, as well as creating additional jobs.

Protected land preserves the region’s scenic landscape, traditions, and historic landmarks—all essential elements of the Maine we know and love. For the private individual or family, protecting your land can offer valuable tax incentives, and the assurance that you are leaving a valuable legacy for future generations.

LELT offers landowners two primary ways to permanently conserve their land: by transferring ownership to the Trust through a donation or purchase, or by placing a conservation easement on the land. Learn more about both methods below.


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Land Transfers & Conservation Easements

By transferring ownership of a property to Loon Echo, a landowner gifts their property by transfer of title. Loon Echo then owns the land and manages it, ensuring that its conservation values are conserved for the benefit of the public. In certain cases, LELT purchases land as well.

Recreational trails may be established, traditional uses may be encouraged, and sustainable forestry may occur. In some cases, Loon Echo may purchase land if funds are available, and the land is identified in a focus area for such protection.
A conservation easement is a tool that allows a landowner to retain ownership while conserving their land and its natural values for the future. Essentially, the landowner relinquishes future development rights through the terms spelled out in the easement, and the easement will forever be associated with the deed to the property.

The landowner maintains and manages the property, while paying property taxes. Loon Echo then monitors the property according to the specific terms of the easement to ensure the conservation values are being protected.

Please contact us directly for more detailed information specific to your land and goals.
conservation easements & land transfers


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Landowner Benefits

financial benefits
For the private individual or family, protecting your land can offer valuable tax incentives, and the assurance that you are leaving a valuable legacy for future generations. There are numerous potential financial benefits available for donating land or an easement.

However, there will also likely be project-specific costs that are borne by the landowner. Costs depend on size and complexity of the project.

A conservation easement donation can result in significant tax benefits if it meets the requirements of federal law. It may lower your federal income tax, because you can claim the value of the easement as a tax-deductible charitable donation. It may also lower your state income tax.

Often one of the biggest advantages of a conservation easement is that it helps you pass on your land to the next generation. A conservation easement helps you plan for the future of the land and it can significantly lower your estate taxes.

For more information, download our landowner guide.
This information doesn't constitute legal or tax advice, and we recommend that landowners consult with a tax advisor, estate planner, and attorney before proceeding with a charitable gift of land or a conservation easement.