Land is important to people for many different reasons, and Wood River Land Trust works with landowners to ensure that their goals are met for the protection of their land.

Wood River Land Trust achieves our mission of protecting land, water and wildlife habitat through the generous gifts of land donations.This sometimes comes in the form of donation of the land, a bargain sale, or permanent conservation easements. There are many tools available to us in the effort to conserve land, so please contact Scott Boettger ( or 208-788-3947) if you are interested in supporting conservation through donation of your land.

Why Landowners Partner with the Land Trust

  • Prevent development or ensure responsible development of their land Permanent protection of valuable conservation resources on their land
  • Make property transfer to their heirs more economical
  • Realize economic and tax benefits

How Landowners Benefit

  • Saving Limited Resources: Land is a scare resource. Efforts to conserve land lead to better scenic views, cleaner water, wildlife habitat, and more land to enjoy.
  • Tax Deductions: Qualified donations of land and conservation easements are tax deductible.
  • Estate Planning: Conservation easements reduce the value of the land proportionally to how restrictive the terms are in the easement making the transfer of land to an heir less complicated. This in turn can reduce the amount of property taxes that are owed on it.
  • Increases Surrounding Property Values: Protected land has been proven to increase the value of land in surrounding areas.
  • Encourages Efficient Development: Land protected from development can encourage efficient development in existing areas rather than encouraging sprawl.

Ways to Protect Your Land

Conservation Easements

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and Wood River Land Trust that protects the conservation values of the property. The agreement allows a landowner to continue to own and use their land, and the land can still be passed on to heirs or sold. When a landowner enters into a conservation easement, they voluntarily give up some of the rights associated with owning land.

The terms of the conservation easement are agreed upon in a collaborative process that meets the needs of the landowner and the Land Trust.

For example, the easement on Barbara Farm protects prime farmland and water resources by limiting certain practices and some development rights. This allows the landowners to continue organic farming and ranching, consistent with the terms of the easement designed to protect conservation values.

These limitations are in perpetuity, and future owners are also bound by the easement’s terms. The Land Trust ensures that the terms of the easement are followed.

A landowner may donate a conservation easement to the Land Trust or sell it. If a donation benefits the public and meets other federal tax code requirements, it may qualify as a tax- deductible charitable donation.

Land Donations

Land Donations help Wood River Land Trust achieve our mission in several different ways. Land with high conservation values often become Preserves, where they are managed to protect qualities such as wildlife habitat, open space, or public enjoyment. Developed land or properties with other appropriate uses can be utilized as leverage for other important conservation acquisitions and transactions.

If you are interested in donating your land to further the mission of Wood River Land Trust, please contact us so that we can work with you to discuss our shared vision.

Donations with lifetime income

If you have land that you would like to protect and donate to Wood River Land Trust, but you need to receive income during your lifetime, consider a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder unitrust. Charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder unitrusts are most useful for highly appreciated land, the sale of which would incur high capital gains tax.

Bargain sales

In a bargain land sale, a landowner sells property to Wood River Land Trust for less than its fair market value. This process allows Wood River Land Trust to purchase land for protection and restoration that the organization could not otherwise afford.

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