info@westportlandtrust.org | P.O. Box 3975|830 Drift Road|Westport, Massachusetts 02790 | Phone:(508) 636-9228

Conservation Choices

Since 1972, the collective efforts of the Land Trust, the Town, and the Commonwealth have protected thousands of acres in Westport, primarily through gifts of land in fee, conservation restrictions, and agricultural preservation restrictions.

In addition to accepting and taking stewardship responsibilities for donated properties, the Land Trust helps guide landowners through the conservation process. We have knowledgeable people ready to help and answer any questions you may have.

For more information, please call our Office 508-636-9228.

Conservation Restriction

Conservation restrictions donated by Louie and Sally Howland and neighbors Terry and Elizabeth White protect over 32 acres along the East Branch of the Westport River.

salt_marsh

 

Gifts of land, such as this 13-acre salt marsh donated in 1990 by Frank Brayton and Howard & Rita Borden.

Is the most direct way for landowners to ensure that land is managed forever for conservation purposes. The owner transfers title outright along with the responsibility for stewardship of the property.

A Conservation Restriction (sometimes called a conservation easement) keeps land in private ownership while placing a permanent restriction on development or other uses that are inconsistent with conservation objectives. Thus, landowners can elect to retain ownership for the benefit of their families while dedicating all or a portion of their property to preservation in perpetuity.brown_trust_property

The Brown Trust Property

APR’s allow qualifying farmers to continue to farm their land and at the same time benefit from its development value. With an APR, farmers sell their development rights in the present, which protects the property for continued agricultural use in the future. These restrictions are in large part funded by the Commonwealth’s APR Program, but the Land Trust contributes by helping farmers with appraisals and applications, by advancing funds to facilitate the APR transaction, and by raising private contributions to supplement the State’s per-acre allowance.

Photo Sep 24, 9 19 06 AM

 

Other Conservation Methods include gifts of land subject to a life estate, testamentary bequests and bargain sales. Landowners can explore with the Land Trust which potential preservation approach best meets their land protection goals.