The Landowner Part of the Equation
Oftentimes landowning families run into obstacles when passing the land on to the next generation. Skyrocketing real estate values may mean that families have to sell the farm to pay estate taxes, or the one family member that wants to farm can’t pay market values to other members who want cash out of the land, instead of crops. The purchase of a conservation easement can provide some cash to the family while simultaneously allowing the agricultural value of the land to become paramount. In essence, the purchase of a conservation easement buys down the development value leaving the farming value of the land the highest and best use. This process values a landowner's private property rights to preserve their land in perpetuity.