SERVICES - Purchase Conservation Easements - Steps to Selling an EasementSelling a conservation easement to the Wyoming Land Trust (WLT) offers a unique opportunity to conserve your property for future generations. It also offers a chance to realize potentially significant financial returns that you can use to improve operations, invest for retirement or help with estate planning. Though each project is different, most involve the following steps.*
1. Landowner and WLT discuss potential project generally.
2. WLT Board provides preliminary approval for project.
3. WLT and landowner discuss potential easement funding sources.
4. WLT and landowner agree (formally or informally) to proceed with the project, subject to easement price, availability of funding, easement terms, and other necessary due diligence steps.
5. WLT engages qualified appraiser to determine value of easement (landowner can obtain his/her own appraisal if necessary).
6. WLT and landowner agree on easement price following receipt of qualified appraisal(s).
7. WLT, landowner, landowner’s advisors (e.g., attorney, accountant, etc.) and potential funder(s) negotiate easement terms (incorporating requirements of particular funding source(s) as necessary).
8. WLT purchases legal option to buy the easement from landowner for agreed price within agreed time period.
9. WLT (with landowner assistance as necessary) raises funds necessary to purchase the easement from appropriate sources (public and private grants, corporations, foundation, individuals, etc.).
10. WLT and landowner complete necessary due diligence within option period, including:
a. Preparation of resource inventory by WLT or consultant;
b. Preparation of mineral ownership and extraction report (including opinion regarding the probability of surface and subsurface mining) by mineral title specialist and qualified geologist;
c. Review of preliminary commitment for title insurance provided by landowner to ensure that no liens or mortgages requiring subordination encumber the easement property;
d. Subordination of any liens or mortgages encumbering the easement property; and
e. Completion of any steps required by particular funding source(s) (e.g., Phase I environmental assessment).
11. WLT, landowner and particular funding source(s) close easement purchase.
* Landowners intending to claim a federal tax deduction for their easement donation (including donations through qualified bargain sales) bear legal responsibility for ensuring that the donation complies with applicable federal, state and local law, including Internal Revenue Code § 170(h) and the accompanying Treasury Regulations (specifically including the requirement to obtain a “qualified appraisal” as defined by the IRS). Though WLT works diligently to see that every conservation easement meets these requirements, please recognize that we cannot assure the deductibility of a particular donation.