Conservation Easements

The Easement Process

  1. Inventory and assess biological features and document current conditions of property at time of easement (maps, technical description, et cetera); write Baseline  Documentation Report and send draft to landowner – Tall Timbers staff or consultants
  2. Develop Conservation Management Plan utilizing Tall Timbers’ model document that will outline the proposed measures for protection of the conservation values of the easement – landowner, landowner’s manager, forestry consultant, and Tall Timbers staff or consultants
  3. Prepare easement specific to the property – attorneys (landowner and Tall Timbers)
  4. Negotiate legal easement constraints – Tall Timbers staff, landowner, and attorneys
  5. Submit easement to Tall Timbers Easement Review Committee for review, comment, and recommendations. Last deadline for new easement review is October 1; last yearly review for phased easements is November 1.
  6. Conduct appraisal of property – landowner’s appraiser
  7. Conduct survey of proposed easement if needed – landowner’s surveyor
  8. Final easement review by all parties
  9. Final easement approved by Tall Timbers Land Conservancy Committee and Tall Timbers Board of Trustees
  10. Signature of easement by all parties
  11. Record easement in court house – landowner’s attorney
  12. Monitor condition of easement property annually in perpetuity — Tall Timbers staff

 

Costs

Tall Timbers Board of Trustees has established a policy seeking a conservation easement cost recovery pledge from the landowner. This pledge enables Tall Timbers to recover its operating costs, including 20% overhead for developing an easement, which includes inventory fieldwork, Baseline Documentation Report, Conservation Management Plan, legal review, photographs, maps, and mailings. We log our time and expenses on each easement to track accurate costs. We do our utmost to keep the costs low for the landowner. We will bill the landowner after services have been rendered, regardless of when and if the easement becomes a reality. This bill will be due and payable before the end of the calendar year the services were rendered. No goods or services will be provided except for the cost recovery of the conservation easement.

In addition to the easement, the Board has established a Stewardship Fund to cover the annual monitoring cost plus build a fund to defend the easement, if necessary, in perpetuity. There is a one-time Stewardship Fund donation request of 1% of the value of the conservation easement (which is determined through a qualified conservation easement appraisal and documented on IRS Form 8283.) This donation is requested to be made prior to signing Form 8283 unless a prior arrangement has been made with Tall Timbers.