Voluntary Land Conservation Agreements: Protecting Important Natural Areas

The Santa Fe Conservation Trust has helped to protect over 34,000 acres since 1993

Areas of Focus

  • Galisteo Basin
  • Pecos River Valley and San Miguel County
  • Greater Santa Fe – Tesuque Area
  • Los Pinos River Valley and Rio Arriba County
  • The Santa Fe Conservation Trust’s Conservation Plan — Coming Soon!

    Conservation Motivation

    Property owners most often grant voluntary land protection agreements, also known as conservation easements, because of their compassion for their land. They wish to permanently preserve those special places or the open space they value and enjoy. The property may have been held by the family for several generations when the current owner decides to ensure its availability for future generations, or a new landowner may simply wish to protect the attributes that drew them to the land in the first place. Often, land donors are committed to helping preserve the special character of their community, or to protecting unique ecological or archeological assets on their land. In other cases, the agreement may be part of a landowner’s overall tax and estate planning where the focus is reducing the tax burden. In any case, potential conservation agreement granters should involve their attorney, tax adviser, or other professionals for advice.

    As a landowner, you can decide to permanently preserve and protect your property now and for future generations … and potentially gain substantial tax advantages as a result of your decision. The vehicle for this approach to land preservation is called a voluntary land protection agreement or conservation easement.

    Public benefits of conservation easements:

  • Protect water quality
  • Conserve wildlife habitat
  • Preserve open space
  • Preserve working farmland, ranchland, timberland
  • Maintain character of rural communities
  • Buffer public lands
  • Maintain landscapes for tourism
  • Require less in public services, generate more in local revenues
  • Stretch public conservation dollars

  • Maps

    We are working to add digitized GIS maps of our service area. Look for them in late 2011!

    We have some trail maps for your reference in our Library.