What is a Land Trust?

Land trusts are private, community-based, non-profit organizations established to protect land and water resources for the public benefit.

What type of land should be protected? Land that has a clear natural, recreational, scenic, historic or productive value (like farmland). TPC utilizes selection criteria before we accept a donation of land or a conservation easement to ensure we apply our conservation values to protect the most important properties.

What do land trusts do? One of the most important roles of a land trust is to help landowners understand the options and methods available to help them conserve their land for generations to come. TPC provides advice on protection strategies that best meet the landowner’s conservation and financial needs. We also have long term responsibility for managing and overseeing conserved land. Like many land trusts, TPC is involved in public education and other outreach activities such as our annual Ride to the Barns.

How is our work made possible? Through your support and generosity! TPC relies on donations, grants, event revenue and countless volunteer hours to accomplish our work. The majority of our income is spent on direct land protection activities, including easement monitoring, land acquisition and land management activities.

As a 501(c)3 organization, all donations to TPC are tax-deductible.

What is a conservation easement?

Tall Pines Conservancy protects the majority of our local land and water resources by placing conservation easements on land. So, what is a conservation easement – and how does it benefit both our community and the property owner?

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization, such as TPC, that restricts certain uses of the land to protect natural resources, including agriculture, from development. 

Don’t worry! Land subject to an easement remains privately owned and allows the landowner to farm, educate, recreate and live on that land in such a way that sustains its resources. An easement runs with the land even with a change of ownership, so while owners may come and go, TPC's partnership and commitment to preserve the conservation values unique to that property will always remain. 

A commitment to protect your land is a gift to future generations.
There are also tax benefits available should you choose this path. If you would like to learn more about the numerous benefits of conservation easements, explore if your land meets our criteria for protection or begin creating a partnership to protect the land that you love forever, contact our Executive Director, Susan Buchanan at (414)559-7460 or susanb@tallpinesconservancy.org to learn more.

Why protect farmland?

Farms and farmland are essential assets of healthy, vibrant communities. Wisconsin farms produce food, fibers, fuel, wildlife habitat, environmental services, education and recreational opportunities for everyone while also contributing over $100 billion to our state’s economy each year.

However, recent trends show mounting pressures on this resource. Ready for some staggering facts? Development irreversibly consumed more than 1 million acres of agricultural land in Wisconsin over the past decade. This, paired with consolidation of farms and other market forces, resulted in a statewide loss of nearly 10% of dairy farms in 2018 alone. This trend is irreversibly changing the rural landscape of our State! Almost two-thirds of all U.S. farmland is managed by someone over 55 years old, while young farmers struggle to overcome the financial barriers of securing long term land tenure.   

Securing farmland for future generations of farmers helps to ensure the vitality and resiliency of our rural heritage and local communities including providing local food sources. By protecting your land with TPC, you can play a crucial role in providing opportunities for the next generation of farmers while preserving the open spaces that define our Lake Country landscape. If you have farmland you would like to protect, or would like to learn more about the issues facing Wisconsin farmers and how you can be part of the solution, please contact us!

P.O. Box 65
W330 N4465 Lakeland Dr. (Hwy. C)
Nashotah, WI 53058

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