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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 valley.

The Rural Legacy grant funds are to be used to acquire voluntary permanent conservation easements in the Long Green Valley Watershed area.

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 development.

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 the program?
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.