Please read our new 2020 Landowner Guide for information.
Tree-lined acequias and irrigated farmland, forested mountains and wildlife habitat, expansive sagebrush mesas and inspiring views — this extraordinary natural and cultural landscape is one of our greatest assets and lies at the core of Northern New Mexico’s distinctive rural character and special quality of life.
But economic and other pressures can put these precious lands at risk of being sold for development. We offer land owners an option to protect their land while taking advantage of generous tax benefits while leaving a permanent legacy of natural, open space for the generations to come.
What is a conservation easement?
Conservation easements are voluntary agreements between a landowner and a qualified organization such as Taos Land Trust to restrict future development of a property. They are permanent and remain with the land through any changes in ownership. Terms of a conservation easement are tailored to a specific piece of land and the conservation values of its owner. In other words, no two conservation easements are alike.
The benefits of conservation easements
Land conservation keeps our rural heritage alive, fosters healthy communities, generates good jobs, supports sustainable agriculture, preserves diverse wildlife habitats, and maintains the vast and varied landscapes that make North Central New Mexico so singularly unique.
Conservation easements protect sustainable agriculture
Conservation easements tie water resources to the land and permanently restrict development so the land will always be available for agricultural use. Easements also devalue property, making it easier for families to retain and work their land, which can be difficult as development pressures increase property values.
Conservation easements preserve connections to local culture and rural traditions
Conservation easements support rural communities by helping to stabilize the agricultural economy as a whole.
Conservation easements help draw recreation and tourism dollars
Conservation Easements offer a way for communities to preserve the natural resources, open spaces, scenic landscapes, and wildlife habitat that draws tourists to our area and helps stimulate our local community economies.
Conservation easements can ease the financial burden on farmers and ranchers
The tax benefits of conservation easements can help landowners reduce debt, pay for one’s childrens’ college education, save for retirement, pay for long-term health care or purchase land and equipment to expand their agricultural activities.