Conserving Your Land

Conserving Your Land

Find out more about permanently protecting your land with a Conservation Easement.

Intro to Conservation Easements

An easement is a voluntary land preservation agreement between a landowner and a land conservation organization, designed to protect the agricultural resources, forest resources, scenic open space, or wildlife habitat that may exist on a property. 

Learn about the public benefits of easements, reasons you may want to donate, the tax implications, and who you might work with on an easement donation.

Find Out More...

Resources for Professionals

Information for Attorneys, Accountants, and other Professionals -- summary of State and Federal Tax Incentives.


More Land Conservation Information

  • Sep 22, 2016

    Renewed Accreditation

    We are happy to announce our accreditation as a land trust was renewed in August 2016 — a mark of distinction in land conservation. Initially accredited in 2011, the renewal by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission signifies its continued confidence that PEC’s lands will be protected forever. Read More
  • Apr 01, 2016

    Legislation to Benefit Land Conservation

    We are excited to announce that Congress recently passed legislation to permanently enhance the federal income tax deduction for the donation of a conservation easement. The new law allows conservation easement donors to deduct their donation at the rate of 50 percent of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) per year, and they can carry forward any excess contribution for as many as 15 years. Further, a qualified farmer can deduct their easement donation at the rate of 100 percent of AGI per year, potentially paying no federal income tax for the next 15 years. Read More
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    Jul 02, 2015

    Conservation Easement Donation Transactions: A View from Federal and State Regulators and the Tax Court Bench

    Since 2005, the courts have issued more than 70 opinions involving challenges to deductions claimed under IRC § 170(h) for conservation easement donations (13 opinions in 2014 alone). These opinions address a variety of qualification, valuation, and other compliance issues. Read More
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    Dec 17, 2014

    Action Alert: General Assembly Eyes Cuts to Land Conservation Programs

    With the Commonwealth facing a major budget gap, and little consensus on what to do about it, we have heard from reliable sources that legislators are eyeing significant cuts to land conservation programs as a way to address the shortfall. Read more from our 12/17/14 email alert! Read More
  • Jul 30, 2014

    PEC Response to Threatening Online Posts

    In the last couple of weeks, The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) has been the subject of a number of articles published online. The articles relate to PEC’s monitoring and enforcement of a conservation easement on real property owned by Piedmont Agriculture Academy, LLC (“PAA”), of which Martha Boneta is a member. The history of this easement has been posted on PEC’s website for some time and can be found at this link: Read More
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    Oct 21, 2013

    Fracking and Conservation Easements?

    Not a Good Fit Next week, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF), a public agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the state's largest holder of conservation easements, will be reviewing a number of new properties for potential protection. Several of the easements they'll be considering would explicitly permit drilling for oil and gas, including the use of hydraulic fracturing, in areas that have little to no history of drilling. Allowing this type of industrial mineral extraction on land that has been permanently protected with a conservation easement is contrary to the purpose of most easements. Ask VOF to Take a Second Look Read More
  • May 06, 2013

    Our Conservation Easement on 64 Acres in Paris, VA

    A number of stories have been circulating about an easement that The Piedmont Environmental Council co-holds with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation on a 64 acre property in Paris, VA. The property is owned by Piedmont Agriculture Academy, LLC (PAA). Martha Boneta is the managing member of PAA.We want to take the opportunity to present facts that have been left out of many of the articles that we have seen. We also want to be clear that issues pertaining to the conservation easement are separate from the issues this landowner has had with Fauquier County over citations for zoning violations.You might also be interested in reading our Letter to the Editor: PEC Working with Boneta to Resolve Issues that ran in 2015 in the Culpeper Star Exponent. Read More
  • Feb 23, 2012

    Easements Over Time (Interactive Map)

    View the increase of protected lands in the Piedmont since 1970. Read More
  • Dec 14, 2011

    The Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund

    The 1997 Virginia General Assembly created a fund (Va. Code Sections 10.1801-2), The Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund, to assist landowners with the costs of conveying conservation easements and to purchase all or part of the value of the easements. Read More
  • Dec 14, 2011

    The Benefits of Conservation (Interactive Map)

    Learn how the fabric of conservation easements in the Piedmont is building a legacy of preservation while enabling these families to continue to work and cherish their lands. Read More
  • Dec 14, 2011

    Free Easement Packet for Landowners

    PEC's Land Conservation staff has assembled this easement packet filled with important information about conservation easements -- including a sample PEC Easement and guidelines on how to proceed with donating a easement. Read More

Conservation Questions?

Our Land Conservation Staff work throughout the Piedmont.

Find the PEC staff person nearest you.

For general questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Free Easement Packet

Important information about conservation easements -- including a sample PEC Easement and guidelines on how to proceed with donating a easement.

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