Q: How does Land Trust for Louisiana protect valuable natural areas throughout Louisiana?
Sometimes land owners donate their land to us outright. More frequently, land owners sign an easement agreement with us that their land will not be developed, but they will continue to own it. They can still use it in other ways, like farming or hunting. We agree to monitor the land annually to be sure their wishes are followed.
Q: Why would land owners want a conservation agreement?
1st reason: They love their land, their woods, their farm land…and they want to know that after they are gone, their land will continue to be used as it has been. They want to leave a legacy for themselves and their family.
2nd reason:,They want to protect the environment by making sure land along rivers and streams, as well as, other land with high environmental value is not developed.
3rd reason: Planned giving; property owners choosing to make a land trust the beneficiary of their land.
4th reason: They may be able to save on income taxes or estate taxes. If the land is used for agriculture, there are potentially even greater tax benefits.
Q: What kind of tax benefits exist for conservation agreements?
If a landowner places a conservation easement on his or her land, the value of the land is reduced. This is because the land can never be developed and so is not worth as much as if it were allowed to be developed. If the easement is donated or sold to Land Trust for Louisiana, below its market value, the donation is a tax deductible charitable contribution.
Q: What are Land Trust for Louisiana’s goals?
Preserve stream-side corridors and other buffer zones and natural areas for habitat protection, water quality improvement, scenic views, wilderness and rural character.
Protect valuable wildlife habitats, focusing on the most critical needs.
Conserve agricultural and green areas, including urban, to promote water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation, and natural and cultural heritage.
Build a coalition of partners including landowners, community groups, municipal officials as well as local, state & federal agencies to achieve the mission and vision.
Promote stewardship and conservation of natural areas through education and research opportunities.
Support responsible eco-tourism, recreational opportunities, and other compatible land uses.
Maintain a strong organization & instill public confidence with a committed board, strategic plan, and policies, standards & procedures.