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Conservation Options Appendices

Appendices

Appendix A

Professional Guidance

Surveying on the beach
photo: Rich Knox

As you plan for your land's future, you may need to consult professionals whose expertise complements the skills of your local land trust members. MCHT or your local land trust can provide lists of attorneys, appraisers, and planners experienced in land conservation work.

The nature and structure of your particular conservation project will determine the degree to which advisors need to be involved. Some projects require their participation throughout the process; other projects may need only a quick review by advisors as you near completion.

Attorneys

Attorneys can offer valuable input on how best to structure a conservation gift or sale. Some prefer to be involved in all aspects of planning, while others are comfortable reviewing the final drafts of documents that land trust officials have prepared in consultation with the landowners. If you pursue an easement, your attorney will need to be involved in at least two stages of conservation planning: preparing the legal description of your property and reviewing easement language. By working with experienced land trust officials and getting family consensus on major decisions early in the planning process, you can minimize attorneys' fees.

Accountants

Consult with your accountant or other tax advisor early in the process to determine the best timing for your conservation project in terms of tax planning. Conservation easements, bargain sales and land donations may qualify as charitable gifts if you meet certain IRS criteria.

Appraisers

If you plan to pursue a federal income tax deduction for an easement or land gift valued at more than $5,000, a qualified appraisal is necessary to document the gift's value. The IRS has established regulations that govern charitable gift appraisals; you and your attorney should be familiar with these requirements before contracting with an appraiser.

Find an appraiser who has prepared conservation easement appraisals before or who routinely does undeveloped land appraisals (not just residential or commercial building appraisals). Ideally, an appraiser will have direct experience documenting gift values for IRS review. View the appraiser as an objective analyst, not as an advocate. He may help you to clarify goals and weigh the financial implications of different approaches, but he should never be asked to work toward a given value.

You may request an informal estimate of value early in the process, before the appraiser has done market research or established the property's development potential. While early estimates can be helpful, they are based on limited information and may change with new market information or as project details become clear. The more information you can provide to appraisers up front, the more quickly and effectively they can do their work. Plan on providing information such as the property deed, property survey (if available), information on existing restrictions or current use classification, draft or final language for the conservation easement (or other conservation plan), the property as shown on the town tax assessor's map, a copy of the town assessor's property card, current zoning or subdivision regulations, sales data on properties you think are comparable, soil maps, and timber maps or inventories.

If you are considering a conservation easement on any part of your land, the appraiser's report must note the value of your entire property unencumbered by any easement (the "before" value) and its value subject to the easement restrictions (the "after" value). These two appraisals can cost several thousand dollars depending on the appraiser, the complexity of the project, and the accessibility of information.

Make sure you get your money's worth: prior to hiring an appraiser, satisfy yourself that he understands the task at hand. When the draft or final appraiser's report is submitted, see if it makes sense. Has the appraiser become familiar with the property? Has he clearly demonstrated its most profitable, likely and legal development potential and the value foregone under the terms of the restrictions? Does the report meet IRS standards and include supporting documentation with comparable sales?

Discuss these findings with the appraiser, your attorney and other knowledgeable individuals (such as members of your local land trust). Most appraisers will be glad to talk over their findings and correct any inaccuracies. Once you are satisfied, ask your appraiser for a signed IRS Form 8283, along with appraisal report, to file with your taxes.

Land Planners

The services of a land planner may be helpful in more complex conservation projects (particularly if you are contemplating additional house sites). An experienced land planner can help identify suitable areas for building and those that are not appropriate due to soils, slopes, wetlands or ecological features. The land planner's role can complement that of a land trust, which works with you to determine the property's inherent values and to find the best means for preserving them.

Surveyors

A conservation plan may require a boundary survey or a survey of a building or homestead area within an easement parcel. Land trusts, land planners and attorneys can help determine the appropriate level of surveying needed and can assist you in finding competent surveyors.

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Appendix B

Reaching Family Consensus on Conservation Projects

The process of conserving land often depends upon family members developing a shared vision for their land. With a common vision, the conservation process proceeds quickly. In the absence of consensus, the process may bog down. This appendix offers guidance for families that encompass a wide range of perspectives and needs.

There are several common "traps" that can waylay families in their efforts to reach agreement.

Hares and Tortoises

Family members who want the land protected may forge ahead with plans before discussing their vision with others. This strategy may seem efficient at first, but those left out of the loop may later question the conservation plans.

Which Part of the Elephant

Family members may view a property--and its future--from markedly different angles. Like the proverbial blind men, each of whom touches a different part of an elephant but cannot envision the whole, people may see only a single use for the land. One might see it as a wildlife sanctuary, another as an investment to help pay future college expenses.

Flying Solo

A family may undertake a project with great enthusiasm but inadequate information. If they neglect to get advice concerning conservation methods or financial planning, they may learn about unforeseen tax and legal issues late in the process and be bounced back to square one.

Laying the Groundwork for Agreement

These and other pitfalls can be avoided if family members are sensitive to the decision-making process. The following ideas may help family members reach consensus. More ideas for reaching agreement are contained in MCHT's Technical Bulletin #114 (free upon request).

Successful conservation planning hinges on good communication. Early in the process, talk with other family members individually about their interest in the property. Try not to react to their views; keep asking questions. Remember that you can acknowledge their views without agreeing with them. Talking with individuals early on will give you a sense of how much common ground there is and how much time and work may be needed to reach consensus.

After individual meetings, you may want to hold one (or more) family meetings to discuss the property's future. Plan to distribute an agenda beforehand. Having a written agenda may seem formal for a family gathering, but it will help everyone stay focused. In setting up the agenda, put easier topics first. If people can agree on those items, they will feel more confident as they begin discussing more complex issues.

Choose a time and place where your family can concentrate on the task (just before the annual picnic might not be the best time). You may want to consider inviting someone well-versed in the methods of land conservation. Often a land trust member can outline options for protection and help answer questions.

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Appendix C

MaineCare

Winter in Whitefield
photo: Chris Hamilton

The subject of MaineCare (formerly known as Medicaid) may seem out of place in a conservation handbook, but it is an important consideration for older and disabled landowners of moderate means who are contemplating their land's future. To be eligible for any MaineCare benefit, applicants must meet limits for income and assets that are typically quite low but vary depending on the type of care requested. Not all income and assets are counted toward eligibility limits, though. It is best to discuss your particular situation with someone knowledgeable about MaineCare to learn more about the applicable rules governing excluded income and assets.

Your home and the surrounding lot are not counted as assets to qualify for most MaineCare benefits. Other examples of excluded real property are lands that produce goods or services for home consumption or those that generate income (such as a farm, wood lot or rental camp). Other lands may not be excluded and may have to be transferred or sold to be eligible for MaineCare.

The rules governing MaineCare coverage for nursing homes costs are complex: it's best to consult with an attorney before taking any steps to transfer or restrict property. If you are in a nursing home and apply for MaineCare coverage, your primary residence is excluded even if you aren't able to return home from the nursing home (as long as you declare your intent to return home). If your spouse remains in your home, there are special rules to protect his or her income and property (including the home).

Property may be transferred or restricted by a conservation easement, without loss or delay in MaineCare benefits, if done at least 36 months before application is made for nursing home coverage (60 months is required if assets are transferred to a non-charitable trust). If you transfer assets for less than fair market value within 36 months of applying for MaineCare, you could become temporarily ineligible for nursing home MaineCare. However, some transfers are exempt (such as those to a spouse) and others may not result in a penalty (depending on the value of the asset, even if given away within the 36-month period).

"Transfer of assets" rules apply only to nursing home MaineCare and the MaineCare elderly and disabled "waiver" program. They do not apply to other types of MaineCare. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), however, transferring assets may affect your SSI benefit.

Please be aware that MaineCare rules are subject to change, and that the information outlined above is accurate only as of February 2003. It's advisable to consult with an elder law attorney in planning for MaineCare coverage. If your income is low, you may call Pine Tree Legal Assistance (1-207-774-8211); if you are 60 or over or have Medicare because you're disabled, contact Maine's Legal Services for the Elderly (1-800-750-5353).

Thanks to Paul Lavin, Director of Maine's Legal Services for the Elderly, for his extensive contributions to this Appendix.

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Appendix D

Siting New Construction

When you draft a conservation plan or easement that allows for future building construction, consider the following questions in planning the location and appearance of new structures.

Does your proposed site conform to local and state zoning regulations? Learn about these ordinances early in your site selection process and inform your local code enforcement officer about your building plans. Ordinances can affect many aspects of site design (such as driveway configuration) as well as actual building construction.

Does your building site respect the constraints imposed by the land's topography? Is the land in a wetland or on steep slopes prone to erosion? Will extensive cut-and-fill work be needed to make this location viable? As pressures on the land increase, people gravitate toward sites that were previously considered "unbuildable." These settings can prove costly-both to the individual homeowner and to the local ecosystem.

Bulldozer
photo: Headwaters Writing and Design

 

Can you site your new building near existing residences or close to a public roadway?By locating new construction near existing infrastructure, you can reduce potential disruption to wildlife. Wildlife may suffer whenever development intrudes on significant habitat - such as riparian zones, wetlands, and edge communities (where two habitats meet). A growing number of builders and real estate developers are coming to recognize the economic, ecological and community value of clustered housing - which concentrates residences in one portion of the property to allow more open space for wildlife and recreational use. Building close to existing infrastructure also reduces construction costs and minimizes soil disturbance - so there is less chance for erosion and the spread of invasive species.

Will the construction work or finished building diminish water quality? The health of lakes, streams, rivers and coastal waters depends on having a vegetative buffer along the shoreline that holds soil in place and helps to trap sediment or pollutants. During construction, try to preserve vegetation along shorelines and around the building site. Make sure to use "best practices" for stormwater management (keeping stock piles of dirt covered, using silt fences to minimize runoff, spreading mulch on open ground, and reseeding bare ground promptly). You can improve water quality by keeping drives and parking areas narrow and using porous paving materials. Landscaping with native plants, rather than lawn, eliminates the need for irrigation and chemical treatments.

Long Pond gate
photo: Chris Hamilton

photo: Chris Hamilton

How will this new building affect views from public vantage points such as roadways, hiking trails and water bodies? It's tempting to focus solely on the views from inside your home, without considering how your building may appear to others. In designing new construction, site buildings in locations that will not be prominently visible. Consider incorporating measures to help your house or outbuilding blend into the site: choose natural wood siding and/or dark exterior colors; maintain well-vegetated areas between the building and public vantage points; select an architectural form that fits with the contours of the land and vernacular styles; and avoid expanses of glass or reflective material.

How much space do I really need? Through careful planning you can use space efficiently and keep down the overall building footprint and height - minimizing costs as well as visual and ecological impacts. Smaller homes consume less resources in construction and require less energy to maintain.

Further Reading

Architect Sarah Susanka has written a series of books--The Not So Big House (1998), Creating the Not So Big House (2000), and Not So Big Solutions for Your Home (2002, all from Taunton Press)--that provide valuable design guidance for minimizing the size of new construction and siting it in ways that fit the land. The Distinctive Home: A Vision of Timeless Design, by Jeremiah Eck (Taunton Press, 2003), also offers some guidance on site planning and design issues. The classic A Pattern Language (Oxford University Press, 1977), by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein, describes progressive ways of thinking about architecture, building and planning. Architects and developers may find useful guidance and case studies in the text Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate, by Alex Wilson et al. (John Wiley & Sons, 1998).

The website www.buildinggreen.com provides many resources on general design strategies, siting and land use issues in environmental construction. Many good pointers, for example, are included in the article "Building Green on a Budget," from the May 1999 edition (vol. 8, no. 5) of their newsletter Environmental Building News.

Material in this appendix was adapted with permission from an article written by Noorjahan Parwana and published in the newsletter of the Montana Land Reliance.

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Appendix E

Land Conservation Organizations and Agencies

Maine’s Local and Regional Land Trusts

Local and regional land trusts play an essential role in Maine's conservation community. Trusts own land, hold and monitor conservation easements, help landowners develop conservation plans, educate people about the values of open space, and raise funds to purchase threatened properties. The total acreage held by land trusts nationwide (not counting lands transferred to state or federal agencies) now exceeds one million acres. Most of Maine's local land trusts are staffed by volunteers, although a growing number have paid staff.

The Maine Land Trust Network is a communications and coordination service provided by Maine Coast Heritage Trust to land conservation organizations throughout the state. To locate a local land trust or for further information, visit www.mltn.org or call 207-729-7366.

Agencies

National Park Service

Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
207-288-3338
acadia_information@nps.gov
www.nps.gov/acad

In addition to its lands on Mount Desert Island, Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut, Acadia National Park is authorized to hold conservation easements on island properties from the main ship channel in Penobscot Bay to the Hancock/Washington county line and Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland. Acadia currently holds 175 easements protecting more than 11,000 acres of island property.

Department of Conservation

Department of Conservation
Bureau of Parks and Lands (BP&L)
286 Water Street, Key Bank Plaza
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-3821
www.state.me.us/doc/parks

BP&L acquires interests in land for public parks, historic sites, boat-launching areas and trails. In some instances, it accepts donations of land and conservation easements that would protect important new parks or enhance the setting of its existing holdings.

Land for Maine's Future

Land for Maine's Future Program (LMF)
State Planning Office
State House Station 38
Augusta, ME 04333-0038
207-287-1487
http://www.state.me.us/spo/lmf

The LMF Program funds the acquisition and long-term conservation of natural lands for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Since 1987, the Program has protected more than 100,000 acres, including mountain summits, farmland, riverfront, lakes, ponds, prime wildlife habitat, coastal islands and beaches. Anyone may submit a proposal for consideration: contact the Program for more information.

IF&W

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IF&W)
State House Station 41
Augusta, ME 04333-0041
207-287-8000
http://www.mefishwildlife.com

The Department is concerned with the protection of important habitats of fish and wildlife species. IF&W holds easements on private lands and owns wildlife management areas, including coastal islands.

Maine Natural Areas Program
State House Station 93
Augusta, ME 04333-0093
207-287-8044
e-mail: maine.nap@state.me.us
http://www.mainenaturalareas.org/

The Maine Natural Areas Program provides comprehensive information on the State's important natural features. In collaboration with public and private landowners, it inventories lands that support rare and endangered plants and animals, rare natural communities, and outstanding examples of representative natural communities. It maintains an extensive database of these features and shares information with landowners, state agencies, conservation groups and towns.

USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Gulf of Maine Program
4R Fundy Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
207-781-8364
e-mail: fw5es_gomp@fws.gov
https://www.fws.gov/GOMCP/

The USFWS works to protect and restore federally threatened and endangered species, migratory birds and searun fish. In Maine, the USFWS manages six National Wildlife Refuges and two National Fish Hatcheries. Its Gulf of Maine Program works in partnership with other federal and state agencies, land trusts and conservation groups on private, state and federal lands to protect and restore high-value coastal wetlands, nesting islands, rivers and Northern Forest lands in the Gulf of Maine watershed.

Nonprofit Conservation Organizations

FSM

Forest Society of Maine (FSM)
115 Franklin Street
P.O. Box 775
Bangor, ME 04402
207-945-9200
www.fsmaine.org

The FSM, a statewide land trust, safeguards the ecological, recreational, and economic values of Maine's forestlands--particularly the unique character of Maine's North Woods. Using conservation easements as a primary tool and strategic acquisitions as appropriate, FSM seeks to maintain traditional forest uses and sustain their economic contributions while preserving ecological and recreational values and important natural areas.

Land Trust Alliance

Land Trust Alliance (LTA)
1331 H St. NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005-4734
202-638-4725
e-mail: lta@lta.org
http://www.lta.org

The national LTA promotes voluntary land conservation and strengthens the land trust movement by providing the leadership, information and resources that land trusts need to conserve land for the benefit of communities and natural systems.

Maine Audubon

Maine Audubon
20 Gilsland Farm Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
207-781-2330
info@maineaudubon.org
http://www.maineaudubon.org

Maine Audubon acquires sanctuary properties to be used as environmental education sites and to provide the public with opportunities to enjoy and connect with the natural world.

MCHT

Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT)
1 Main Street, Suite 201
Topsham, ME 04086
207-729-7366

Mount Desert Island Field Office:
P.O. Box 669
Somesville, ME 04660
207-244-5100
info@mcht.org
 

MCHT protects coastal and other lands of scenic, ecological, recreational and cultural significance. The Trust provides free conservation services to landowners, government agencies, local land trusts and communities statewide.

NEFF

New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF)
P.O. Box 1099
Groton, MA 01450-3099
978-448-8380
neff@neforestry.org

NEFF promotes and demonstrates responsible management of working forests for the benefit of landowners and the public. It works with private landowners to achieve conservation goals through acquisition of fee interests and conservation easements.

SWOAM

Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine (SWOAM)
P.O. Box 836
Augusta, ME 04332
207-626-0005
1-877-467-9626
e-mail: info@swoam.com
http://www.swoam.com

SWOAM supports and promotes long-term stewardship of Maine's small woodlands, and assists in conserving productive forestlands through a land trust program.

TCF

The Conservation Fund (TCF)
1800 North Kent Street, Suite 1120
Arlington, VA 22209
703-525-6300
postmaster@conservationfund.org
http://www.conservationfund.org

TCF works in partnership with nonprofit organizations, public agencies and the private sector to conserve the country's outdoor heritage. In Maine, TCF has completed projects in several counties.

TNC

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) -- Maine Chapter
Fort Andross
14 Maine Street, Suite 401
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-729-5181
e-mail: naturemaine@tnc.org
http://nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/maine/

TNC acquires land and easements by purchase and donation to protect rare and threatened species and to preserve natural diversity. Maine Chapter staff consult with landowners on the preservation of unique natural areas.

TPL

The Trust for Public Land (TPL)
Maine Field Office
377 Fore Street, 3rd Floor
Portland, ME 04101
207-772-7424
www.tpl.org

TPL facilitates the protection of open space areas in urban and rural settings for public use. It often temporarily secures threatened properties and works with local, state, and federal partners to obtain funds for permanent protection and to bring land into permanent conservation ownership.

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Appendix F

Further reading

Books

Appraising Easements; Guidelines for Valuation of Historic Preservation and Land Conservation Easements. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1999 (Third Edition). First published in 1984, this essential handbook outlines the general principles of easement valuation. Sections provide information on "before" and "after" valuations, appraisal reports, IRS regulations and typical easement provisions.

The Conservation Easement Handbook: Managing Land Conservation and Historic Preservation Easement Programs. Janet Diehl and Thomas S. Barrett. Washington, DC: Trust for Public Land and Land Trust Alliance, 1988. This 270-page guidebook offers a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of the easement process. Chapters provide details on tax benefits, baseline data, monitoring and enforcement, and model easements.

The Conservation Easement Handbook, Third Edition. Elizabeth K. Byers. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance, 2004. This comprehensive revision of the 1988 edition covers advances and lessons learned from conservation easement programs nationwide. In a chapter entitled "Conservation Easement Drafting Guidelines & Commentary," MCHT staff attorney Karin Marchetti Ponte explains how to design a comprehensive easement template and draft land use provisions tailored to a particular property.

Doing Deals: A Guide to Buying Land for Conservation. The Trust for Public Land. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance,1995. For those interested in purchasing properties for long-term conservation, this book provides information on negotiating with landowners, getting surveys and appraisals, and working with government agencies.

The Federal Tax Law of Conservation Easements (Updated with Supplement). Stephen J. Small. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance, 1995. This authoritative volume offers legal details on conservation easements for attorneys, easement donors and appraisers. It includes discussion of the IRS final regulations on easement gifts as well as related income and estate tax considerations. It also covers historic preservation easements and donations of remainder interests for conservation purposes. This edition includes a supplement with cases from 1988-1995.

Third Supplement to The Federal Tax Law of Conservation Easements. Stephen J. Small. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance, 2002. This supplement to Small's introductory volume on conservation-related tax laws interprets important Tax Court cases and IRS rulings since 1996.

The Great Remembering. Peter Forbes. San Francisco, CA: The Trust for Public Land, 2002. Author Peter Forbes, a long-time staff member of The Trust for Public Land, explores the meaning of land in our culture and calls on conservationists to begin rebuilding the relationships between land and people.

Model Conservation Easement and Historic Preservation Easement, 1996: Revised Easements and Commentary from the Conservation Easement Handbook. Thomas S. Barrett and Stefan Nagel. Washington, D.C: Land Trust Alliance, 1996. This 120-page update of the model easements and commentary incorporates evolving tax practice and stewardship concerns in historic preservation and conservation easement programs.

Our Land, Ourselves: Readings on People and Place. Peter Forbes. San Francisco, CA: The Trust for Public Land, 1999. This anthology includes diverse readings on such themes as the protection of wilderness, the nature of home, the purpose of work, and the meaning of community.

Passing It On: The Inheritance and Use of Summer Houses. Judith Huggins Balfe. Montclair, NJ: Pocomo Press, 1999. If you share a property with extended family, you may find valuable insights about how to handle its shared management and the transfer between generations in this guidebook by a sociology professor.

Preserving Family Lands: Book I. Stephen J. Small. Boston, MA: Landowner Planning Center, 1998 (Revised Third Edition). Written in clear, informal language, this handbook provides a basic introduction to the estate tax consequences of different conservation options.

Preserving Family Lands: Book II. Stephen J. Small. Boston, MA: Landowner Planning Center, 1997. This sequel provides concrete examples of basic estate and gift tax rules, charitable remainder trusts and other topics.

Preserving Family Lands: Book III. Stephen J. Small. Boston, MA: Landowner Planning Center, 2002. The newest book in this series contains a comprehensive checklist for conservation easement projects designed to increase understanding of tax-related issues, title issues and tax incentives contained in Section 2031 (c), added to the tax code in 1997.

Saving Maine: An Album of Conservation Success Stories. Bill Silliker, Jr. Rockport, ME: Downeast, 2002. Nature photographer Bill Silliker, Jr., shares inspirational tales of exemplary land conservation projects, inviting citizens to protect the wild landscapes that define Maine.

To Save a River. Scott Dickerson and Dennis Shultz. Camden: Coastal Mountains Land Trust/ Aperture Foundation, 2002. This beautifully illustrated narrative tells the story of a remarkable conservation success in midcoast Maine, where a coalition of 26 groups has protected more than 80 percent of the shoreline along the Ducktrap River.

Flyers

Conservation Easements: An Introduction for Maine Landowners. Marina Schauffler. Topsham, ME: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 2002. For landowners considering conservation easements, this 20-page flyer provides an introductory overview. Available for free upon request from MCHT and from many local land trusts.

Technical Bulletins from Maine Coast Heritage Trust. MCHT lands and legal staff.

Topsham and Mount Desert Island, ME: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 1990-2002. Maine Coast Heritage Trust offers landowners free Technical Bulletins on a wide variety of topics - such as steps involved in completing easements; property taxation of conservation easement land; and tax and appraisal considerations regarding charitable conservation gifts. MCHT also provides lists of real estate appraisers, land use planners and attorneys in Maine who have experience completing conservation easements. Contact either office of the Trust for a current list of the Technical Bulletins available.

Videocassettes

Land Trusts in America: Guardians of the Future. Produced by Land Trust Alliance, Washington, DC. This 14-minute video, which features people who have saved their land, is educational as well as inspirational.

For the Common Good: Preserving Private Lands with Conservation Easements. Produced by Land Trust Alliance, Washington, DC. This award-winning video explains the workings and public benefits of conservation easements through three case studies.

Further reading

Books

Appraising Easements; Guidelines for Valuation of Historic Preservation and Land Conservation Easements. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1999 (Third Edition). First published in 1984, this essential handbook outlines the general principles of easement valuation. Sections provide information on "before" and "after" valuations, appraisal reports, IRS regulations and typical easement provisions.

The Conservation Easement Handbook: Managing Land Conservation and Historic Preservation Easement Programs. Janet Diehl and Thomas S. Barrett. Washington, DC: Trust for Public Land and Land Trust Alliance, 1988. This 270-page guidebook offers a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of the easement process. Chapters provide details on tax benefits, baseline data, monitoring and enforcement, and model easements.

The Conservation Easement Handbook, Third Edition. Elizabeth K. Byers. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance, 2004. This comprehensive revision of the 1988 edition covers advances and lessons learned from conservation easement programs nationwide. In a chapter entitled "Conservation Easement Drafting Guidelines & Commentary," MCHT staff attorney Karin Marchetti Ponte explains how to design a comprehensive easement template and draft land use provisions tailored to a particular property.

Doing Deals: A Guide to Buying Land for Conservation. The Trust for Public Land. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance,1995. For those interested in purchasing properties for long-term conservation, this book provides information on negotiating with landowners, getting surveys and appraisals, and working with government agencies.

The Federal Tax Law of Conservation Easements (Updated with Supplement). Stephen J. Small. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance, 1995. This authoritative volume offers legal details on conservation easements for attorneys, easement donors and appraisers. It includes discussion of the IRS final regulations on easement gifts as well as related income and estate tax considerations. It also covers historic preservation easements and donations of remainder interests for conservation purposes. This edition includes a supplement with cases from 1988-1995.

Third Supplement to The Federal Tax Law of Conservation Easements. Stephen J. Small. Washington, DC: Land Trust Alliance, 2002. This supplement to Small's introductory volume on conservation-related tax laws interprets important Tax Court cases and IRS rulings since 1996.

The Great Remembering. Peter Forbes. San Francisco, CA: The Trust for Public Land, 2002. Author Peter Forbes, a long-time staff member of The Trust for Public Land, explores the meaning of land in our culture and calls on conservationists to begin rebuilding the relationships between land and people.

Model Conservation Easement and Historic Preservation Easement, 1996: Revised Easements and Commentary from the Conservation Easement Handbook. Thomas S. Barrett and Stefan Nagel. Washington, D.C: Land Trust Alliance, 1996. This 120-page update of the model easements and commentary incorporates evolving tax practice and stewardship concerns in historic preservation and conservation easement programs.

Our Land, Ourselves: Readings on People and Place. Peter Forbes. San Francisco, CA: The Trust for Public Land, 1999. This anthology includes diverse readings on such themes as the protection of wilderness, the nature of home, the purpose of work, and the meaning of community.

Passing It On: The Inheritance and Use of Summer Houses. Judith Huggins Balfe. Montclair, NJ: Pocomo Press, 1999. If you share a property with extended family, you may find valuable insights about how to handle its shared management and the transfer between generations in this guidebook by a sociology professor.

Preserving Family Lands: Book I. Stephen J. Small. Boston, MA: Landowner Planning Center, 1998 (Revised Third Edition). Written in clear, informal language, this handbook provides a basic introduction to the estate tax consequences of different conservation options.

Preserving Family Lands: Book II. Stephen J. Small. Boston, MA: Landowner Planning Center, 1997. This sequel provides concrete examples of basic estate and gift tax rules, charitable remainder trusts and other topics.

Preserving Family Lands: Book III. Stephen J. Small. Boston, MA: Landowner Planning Center, 2002. The newest book in this series contains a comprehensive checklist for conservation easement projects designed to increase understanding of tax-related issues, title issues and tax incentives contained in Section 2031 (c), added to the tax code in 1997.

Saving Maine: An Album of Conservation Success Stories. Bill Silliker, Jr. Rockport, ME: Downeast, 2002. Nature photographer Bill Silliker, Jr., shares inspirational tales of exemplary land conservation projects, inviting citizens to protect the wild landscapes that define Maine.

To Save a River. Scott Dickerson and Dennis Shultz. Camden: Coastal Mountains Land Trust/ Aperture Foundation, 2002. This beautifully illustrated narrative tells the story of a remarkable conservation success in midcoast Maine, where a coalition of 26 groups has protected more than 80 percent of the shoreline along the Ducktrap River.

Flyers

Conservation Easements: An Introduction for Maine Landowners. Marina Schauffler. Topsham, ME: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 2002. For landowners considering conservation easements, this 20-page flyer provides an introductory overview. Available for free upon request from MCHT and from many local land trusts.

Technical Bulletins from Maine Coast Heritage Trust. MCHT lands and legal staff.

Topsham and Mount Desert Island, ME: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 1990-2002. Maine Coast Heritage Trust offers landowners free Technical Bulletins on a wide variety of topics - such as steps involved in completing easements; property taxation of conservation easement land; and tax and appraisal considerations regarding charitable conservation gifts. MCHT also provides lists of real estate appraisers, land use planners and attorneys in Maine who have experience completing conservation easements. Contact either office of the Trust for a current list of the Technical Bulletins available.

Videocassettes

Land Trusts in America: Guardians of the Future. Produced by Land Trust Alliance, Washington, DC. This 14-minute video, which features people who have saved their land, is educational as well as inspirational.

For the Common Good: Preserving Private Lands with Conservation Easements. Produced by Land Trust Alliance, Washington, DC. This award-winning video explains the workings and public benefits of conservation easements through three case studies.

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Appendix G

Glossary

actuarial tables - life expectancy information based on statistics.

adjusted gross income (AGI) - an individual taxpayer's income after deducting exempt income and certain allowed reductions. Itemized deductions, the standard deduction or personal exemptions further reduce AGI, resulting in "taxable income."

annuity - a fixed annual payment based on an investment and the duration of payments.

appraisal - the estimated value of property as determined by an appraiser, based on sales of comparable property or income potential.

assessment - municipal valuation of property for tax purposes.

bargain sale - sale of property or easement to a tax-exempt organization for less than the fair market value.

baseline data - information and documentation showing the condition of land at the time an easement gift is made.

basis - the cost of property when acquired (or value when inherited), plus the cost of certain permanent improvements.

beneficiary - the person designated to receive the proceeds from a will, trust, or insurance policy.

benefited parcel - land that receives benefits from restrictions placed on adjoining or nearby property.

bequest - a gift by will of money or personal property.

building envelope (or homestead area) - a designated portion of a larger property, identified in a conservation easement or plan, within which future construction is permitted. The building envelope or homestead area can be included within the terms of an easement or can be left out - exempt from the easement's terms.

capital gains - profit from the sale of property in excess of the basis.

charitable gift (also charitable donation, charitable contribution) - a gift to a tax-exempt entity that meets certain IRS standards.

charitable gift annuity - a contract by which a donor sells his property to a charity in return for regular annuity payments to one or two beneficiaries for life.

charitable remainder trust - a trust fund invested to provide lifetime income to the donor and beneficiaries and a gift of the remaining principal to charity upon its expiration.

conservation buyer - an individual or group of individuals who work in partnership with a land trust to acquire land for permanent protection (either holding that land privately with conservation restrictions or transferring it to a land trust or government agency).

conservation easement - a legal agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization or agency, that permanently limits uses of the property to protect its significant natural features.

conservation investor - an individual or group of individuals who help to fund the acquisition of conservation land, without becoming long-term owners.

conservation plan - a document outlining the goals, methods and strategy for preserving a property.

conservation remainder - a right of deferred or future ownership of land subject to perpetual conservation restrictions that is delayed until after the death of the original owner or other named "life tenants."

covenant (or restriction) - a written commitment contained in a contract, lease, deed, or other form of agreement.

current use classification - a property tax category that recognizes the economic benefits of working landscapes and open space areas, and grants them a reduced tax rate.

deed restriction - restrictive covenants, placed within a deed, that guide future uses of the property.

devise - (v) to give or transmit real estate by will; (n) a gift of real estate by will.

donee - one who receives a donation.

easement holder - a nonprofit organization or government agency that assumes long-term responsibility for monitoring a conservation easement and enforcing its terms.

estate tax - a tax imposed on assets transferred from a deceased person to his or her heirs.

executor (or personal representative) - a person named to carry out the provisions of a will.

fair market value - the price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both being fully informed about relevant facts.

fee (fee interest, fee-simple interest) - technically, all the legal rights in property; informally, ownership of land. "Less than fee interest" entails holding fewer rights, such as a lease, option, easement, mortgage, or life interest.

forever wild - a term that describes restrictions on land intended to keep the natural resources substantially unaltered. The Open Space Tax Law defines forever wild as allowing only minor changes to prevent the spread of fire and plant disease and to accommodate low-impact outdoor recreation, nature observation and study, and pursuits such as hunting, fishing and harvesting shellfish.

highest and best use - the most profitable likely and legal use to which a parcel of land is likely to be put (a determination made in calculating value).

just value - the required property tax assessment standard, based on the likely sale price of a property, reduced by the average percent below full fair market value at which the town assesses property (the state-determined "town assessment ratio").

land trust - a publicly supported nonprofit organization that helps landowners voluntarily conserve their properties.

land use planner - a professional offering conservation and development planning services.

life tenants - persons with the legal right to possess real estate only for the remainder of their lifetimes.

management agreement - a written contract, generally between a landowner and organization or agency, committing one or both parties to certain responsibilities in caring for a property.

mutual covenants - written commitments regarding land use contained in a deed or other form of agreement and exchanged among neighboring landowners.

open space - an undeveloped tract of land that provides scenic, ecological and/or recreational values. Also, a current use property tax classification.

option (to purchase) - a time-limited right to acquire a property at a set price.

partial interest - a deeded undivided percent in the ownership of land.

post-mortem election - a tax law provision that allows heirs to make a charitable donation of certain rights in land that they inherit, subject to Internal Revenue Code restrictions.

public benefit(s) - the values (scenic, recreational, ecological, cultural, historic or spiritual) that people derive from a protected property.

qualified appraiser - an IRS term for an appraiser who does appraisals for charitable deductions and who has not been listed as disqualified by the IRS.

real property (real estate or realty) - land and the buildings or other permanent improvements associated with it.

Register of Critical Areas - a State list documenting sites of significance to Maine's natural heritage whose landowners have agreed to pursue voluntary land conservation.

remainder interest - a "future interest" in property that is realized only after termination of a prior interest; for example, when an organization receives deed to a property subject to a "reserved life estate," the organization holds a remainder interest. Possession of the property will not occur until the end of a specified term of years or at the life tenant's death.

reserved life estate - a right retained as part of a transfer of land where the owner or other individuals possess the property during their lifetime.

right of first refusal - a binding commitment by a landowner not to sell property without first offering it to a specified individual or organization at the same terms the owner would be willing to accept from another purchaser (usually excluding family members).

stewardship - long-term responsibility for the care and management of land or conservation easements.

title - ownership of land, usually documented at the County Registry of Deeds.

trustee - a person responsible for the proper and faithful administration of a fund or asset solely for the benefit of identified beneficiaries.

undivided interest - partial ownership of an entire undivided property (as opposed to ownership of a part of the land), owned jointly by two or more other parties.

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