Frequently Asked Questions
Long Green Land Trust, Inc. (LGLT) has been working
for a number of years through Baltimore County and other agencies
to preserve our valley for future generations. With the establishment
of the Maryland Rural Legacy Program, another tool has been added
to enable Long Green to protect and preserve even more of our beautiful
The Rural Legacy grant funds are to be used to acquire voluntary
permanent conservation easements in the Long Green Valley Watershed
What is a conservation easement?
A conservation easement is voluntary, written deed agreement
to protect conservation features of property, for example farmland,
natural resources and scenic views. Easements prohibit more intensive
land uses such as commercial, industrial, high-density residential
How would an easement affect my use of my property?
Landowners retain all rights of ownership, privacy and
uses within the terms of the easement. An easement runs with the
property, in perpetuity. No public access is required. Terms of
the easement are flexible to meet landowner objectives. Agricultural
uses are encouraged. Certified forestry practices are permitted
or landowner can choose to limit forestry for conservation purposes.
Landowners can reserve future home site(s).
What properties are eligible for Rural Legacy?
The LGLT has been working with landowners to identify potential
easement properties with a high level of landowner interest and
significant environmental benefits to comprise the Long Green Valley
Rural Legacy Area. The properties that make up the Rural Legacy
Area must have development potential to relinquish and/or important
natural features that enhance the goals of the Rural Legacy Program.
Who is running the program?
The Long Green Land Trust, Inc. and other sponsoring
agencies will administer the program. Easements will be held by
the Long Green Land Trust, Inc. and a co-sponsor –
either the Maryland Environmental Trust or Maryland Agricultural
Land Preservation Foundation or Baltimore County if the easement
is purchased by the County.
How will properties be selected to participate in the program?
Interested landowners submit applications to the Long Green
Land Trust, Inc. Once the applications have been received,
the Land Trust will use a formula approved by the Rural Legacy
Program to rank the various properties. This formula takes into
account the threat of development; the agricultural and forest productivity
of the property; and the potential impact on water quality and wildlife
and other important features to decide the relative weight that
should be given to an application for funding.
Landowners have the opportunity to impact their ranking, and the
price received for their easement, based on the number of voluntary
conservation options that are included with their application. The
Conservancy will then prioritize all applications submitted and
begin negotiations with the landowner.
The Rural Legacy Program allows easements that provide the maximum
protection for the unique features of the property, while accommodating
the landowner’s proposed uses of the property. An easement
for an active farming operation may have different provisions than
a property maintained primarily to enhance wildlife, or protect
stream quality. The Land Trust will negotiate with the landowner
to establish a set of easement conditions that most closely meet
the needs of all parties. The easement will be submitted to the
co-sponsoring state agency that must concur with the negotiated
provisions. Based on the provisions, the Conservancy will then work
to establish a price for the easement in accordance with the ranking
formula. Complete easement agreements will also be approved and
administered by the LGLT.
What are the financial benefits and tax implications in
If you are considering applying for the program we recommend
that you contact your attorney and/or accountant at the earliest
convenience. They will best be able to advise you of the financial
implications of any easement program you select. The sale of an
easement can provide a source of capital for the owner’s operations
or an investment fund. The contribution of an easement can provide
substantial tax reduction benefits.
I am interested. How do I get started?
You begin the process by submitting a completed application
to the Long Green Land Trust, Inc. Contact
Ann Ann Jones at LGLT for more information.