Mission Statement of Northwest Land Conservation Trust:
To protect and preserve natural, scenic, agricultural, forest, recreational, wildlife habitat, riparian habitat, wetland, aquatic and open spaces in the State of Oregon and to achieve this through locally organized community land trust groups.
Northwest Land Conservation
Trust is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, organized under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS 65), and is governed by a Board of Directors experienced in agricultural, forestry, and environmental matters. In addition, the Board of Directors can be assisted by Advisory Boards and Committees. The Trust serves private land owners who wish to protect and preserve the environmental features of their land through the use of conservation easements.
Northwest Land Conservation Trust is a 501(c)(3) organization and contributions are tax deductible. The Board of Directors serve voluntarily and without compensation.
Preserving Oregon Land with Conservation Easements
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust which protects the special features of the property, such as farmland, forest, wildlife habitat, scenic open space, wetlands, and other natural resources.
The Trust works with the landowner in developing the language of the conservation easement. When it is completed to the satisfaction of the owner, the owner grants the easement to
the Trust. The easement is then recorded in the office of the county clerk and thereafter is attached to the title to the land. The landowner continues to live on the land and retains ownership; can sell, devise, lease, mortgage, or otherwise convey title to the land, subject to the provisions in the easement. The easement does not grant public access to the land. The provisions set forth in the document are binding on the current owner and all future owners; are legally enforceable, and recognized by state and federal law.
Northwest Land Conservation Trust takes over the responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the provisions in the conservation easement.
Who Benefits From Conservation Easements?
The Landowner: A conservation easement offers the means to protect the special features of the property without the need for government approval or public hearings. The landowner gains the satisfaction of knowing that the land he or she values will be protected and preserved forever, in perpetuity. There also may be federal income tax and estate tax benefits, as well as property tax benefits.
Society: Conservation easements preserve Oregon's economic resources, such as agricultural lands, forests, wildlife habitats, scenic open space, wetlands and watersheds, that would be lost if the land was fully developed for housing and commercial use.
Government Agencies: Conservation easements help to achieve desired land use patterns that may be impossible to obtain through zoning or condemnation.
The way we choose to use and preserve Oregon's remaining undeveloped land will determine the health of our people and our environment for generations to come. The decision, in many cases, lies with the landowners themselves. Private landowners who wish to preserve the natural resources of their land, and limit future residential, commercial and industrial development of their land, may do so legally through the use of conservation easements.