The main tool of the Allegheny Valley Conservancy is the conservation easement, a voluntary legal agreement between the property owner and the Conservancy that specifies what activities may or may not occur on a particular property. These agreements may address such things as timbering, constructing buildings, drilling, farming and so on. Each property owner may make the determination about which of these rights will be placed into protection. Once a legal conservation easement has been negotiated, it is permanent and stays with the land even if it is sold.
The Allegheny Valley Conservancy will assist landowners tailor a conservation plan to their individual situation and financial circumstances, and determine the property’s conservation values. The landowner can retain ownership of the property but the easement will be held and enforced by the Conservancy.
Conservation Easement A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. It allows the landowner to continue to own and use the land and to sell it or pass it on to heirs. A landowner may sell a conservation easement, but usually easements are donated. If the donation benefits the public by permanently protecting important conservation resources and meets other federal tax code requirements, it can qualify as a tax-deductible charitable donation. The amount of the donation is the difference between the land’s value with the easement and its value without the easement. Placing an easement on property may or may not result in property tax savings. Find more information through the Land Trust Alliance.
St. George - easement
The first conservation easement held by AVC is for the Allegheny Valley Trails Association (AVTA). The organization offered to donate the easement on property AVTA owns along the Allegheny River Trail in southern Venango County Pennsylvania near the Village of St. George. The easement protects 15 acres of Allegheny River riparian corridor and offers camping along the trail. Look for the Adirondack shelters near mile 18.