Lower Ark's Conservation Easements
“On March 12, 2003, the Lower District Land Trust was created by the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District. This allowed the District to accept donated conservation easements to help preserve the beauty, open space, agricultural practices, and the rural way of life for five counties.” (Mark, Caitlin)
Lee Hancock, Conservation Easement Consultant, manages the conservation program for the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District. His agricultural lending and real estate appraisal background provides the necessary insight to assisting landowners through the conservation easement process. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits the use of the land in order to protect its conservation values. The purpose of a conservation easement is to ensure that the land is being used for agricultural purpose in perpetuity. A conservation easement can be an important tool to preserve a family farm or ranch along with the habitat and scenic views.
Currently the Lower Ark is working on an alternative valuation method to determine the monetary value of conservation practices. The current conservation easement appraisal method limits land not exhibiting developmental pressure, therefore curtailing the preservation of lands with strong conservation values. Recently House Bill 1264 was passed that dictates the pursuance of an alternative valuation method that will be acceptable through the Colorado’s Division of Conservation. The Lower Ark will continue to work diligently towards the acceptance of an alternative valuation method, thus allowing more lands within our district to be preserved for their pristine conservation values.
If you are interested in seeking a conservation easement, please come in to discuss these possible opportunities with Lee Hancock.
Conservation Tid Bits:
2017 Conservation Easements
Please visit the following website for Income Tax Incentives for Land Conservation: