Protect Your Land: Donations

Donating property or easements for conservation is one of the most lasting legacies a person can leave to future generations.

A landowner may donate land for varying reasons: the landowner may not wish to pass the land on to heirs, the property may no longer be in active use or the owner might want or need to be relieved of the responsibility of managing and caring for land. On the financial side, a property‘s value may have increased dramatically, or the landowner may have other real estate holdings and may wish to reduce their estate tax liability. Landowners should consult their tax advisor and/or estate planner regarding the financial implications of any land transaction.

For many landowners whose primary concern is seeing the land protected forever, a donated conservation easement can be a great solution. If a donated conservation easement benefits the public by permanently protecting important conservation resources and meets other federal tax code requirements, it may qualify as a tax-deductible charitable donation. The amount of the donation is the difference between the land’s appraised value with the easement and its value without the easement.

A conservation easement or land donation requires not only a willing donor, but a qualified conservation organization like MRT to accept the donation. The donation must closely fit our charitable mission of protecting special lands and the rivers that run through them to ensure clean water, abundant fish and wildlife habitat and productive natural landscapes in western Oregon.

If the Trust accepts a donation of property because of its ecological and conservation values, it will be protected and managed by the Trust in perpetuity. Although the focus of McKenzie River Trust is on land conservation, other types of properties can also be donated, with the understanding that the organization may sell the land to support conservation work in our priority areas.