The Conservancy’s Land Acquisition Committee recently held its monthly meeting to review several land conservation projects. The Conservancy’s land project pipeline is active and we continue to make progress, albeit slow progress, moving forward with our strategic land and greenway priorities. We have about 30 priority land projects involving land with high conservation values. We are actively advancing 3-5 of those at any given time.
And, while land consumption is high and the window of opportunity is closing in our area, land conservation is challenging and time consuming. We rely on generous donations of land rights from willing landowners because we do not have the large amount of capital required to acquire local property or conservation easements. By way of example, land in the eastern rural area is assessed for tax purposes at $40,000 to more than $60,000 per acre. Conservation easements are frequently 50 to 75% of the total land value. This means a conservation easement on a 50 acre tract may be worth $1.5 million or more.
Fortunately, due to the generosity and vision of our donating land owners, we are able in some cases to secure permanent conservation of land through the landowner’s donation. Public policy favors land conservation by providing special tax treatment of the donation for qualified transactions and donors.
And, land conservation provides the donor with peace of mind knowing that their land will forever be kept in its natural state. DLC is here to conserve land and to steward land to ensure our community remains balanced with open, natural and farm lands which are critical to our sense of place and community. We are not here to stop development – rather to provide the necessary balance to help ensure Davidson remains healthy and attractive for all.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the legacy of conservation, please contact Dave Cable, Executive Director, at [email protected] or 704-577-2004.