Buyer/Seller Program – Learn More
What is a Conservation Buyer/Seller Program?
The Northwoods Land Trust helps to link potential conservation buyers with landowners who want to ensure their property will be protected. NWLT will work with potential buyers who are interested in buying a property and then protecting it with a conservation easement or land donation.
Conservation buyers are people who are interested in purchasing land in order to protect its conservation values. They literally “put their money where their values are.”
Many conservation buyers purchase land because they enjoy outdoor recreation and want to use it for hunting, fishing, watching wildlife, forest management, studying nature or just for a relaxing weekend retreat. For the Northwoods Land Trust, a conservation buyer is someone who NWLT believes will want to preserve the property for its conservation values, will limit additional development, and will either buy land with a conservation easement already in place, or will work with the land trust to grant an easement on the property after they purchase it. The primary requirement for conservation buyers is their interest in considering permanent protection for the land. These landowners can work with the land trust to grant a conservation easement on the property after they buy it. Some conservation buyers want to protect land but not own it. They may consider a land donation to the Northwoods Land Trust.
In some cases, conservation buyers purchase land that is already protected with a perpetual conservation easement – often at a discounted price below what they would ordinarily have had to pay for other similar, but unprotected properties. These buyers can still use the land for recreation purposes, but are subject to the rights and restrictions within the conservation agreement.
Conservation sellers are property owners who wish to sell their land, but would prefer to sell it to someone with strong conservation values who would make sure it is protected. In order to list a property on NWLT’s Conservation Buyer/Seller program the property has to meet NWLT’s conservation criteria.
The Northwoods Land Trust’s program simply hopes to link conservation-minded buyers and sellers, but does not act as an agent for either party. There are no fees for participating in the program. Due to potential conflicts of interest with possible pre- or post-sale conservation easement donations, NWLT does not become involved in negotiations between the sellers and buyers.
Landowners and potential conservation buyers should be aware that there are important timing and other issues related to whether or not a donated conservation easement would qualify with the Internal Revenue Services as a charitable deduction if it is done at the time of closing on the land sale. The two must be independent transactions for an easement donation to qualify as a charitable gift. Several guidelines and strategies can also help a landowner be more comfortable selling their land to a potential conservation buyer.
NWLT will also maintain a list of landowners who would prefer to sell their property to a conservation-minded buyer. The lists are strictly voluntary and strictly confidential. We will immediately remove your name at any time upon request.