The Benefits of Conservation Planning: A Toolkit for the Tax Professional

Introduction

American Rivers, along with its partners, the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program of the Winyah Rivers Foundation and the Pee Dee Land Trust, are working to improve recreation and protect critical land along the Waccamaw River in South Carolina.

These groups are collaborating with the communities in Horry and Georgetown Counties to establish the Waccamaw River Blue Trail. Blue trails, the water equivalent to hiking trails, help facilitate recreation in and along rivers.

The Waccamaw River Blue Trail will not only improve recreational opportunities, it will also help to educate citizens, local governments, and elected officials about the importance of the river as a community asset, increase community involvement, and support conservation.

As part of our effort to educate local communities on the vast benefits and opportunities associated with private land conservation, project partners are hosting a series of workshops. The first of these workshops, “The Benefits of Conservation Planning: A Workshop for the Tax Professional” provided accountants, estate planners, and tax attorneys with information on conservation easements and planning. Presentations were made by the Pee Dee Land Trust, United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Turner Padgett, LLP a local law firm whose staff specializes in conservation planning. This toolkit was created as an outline of the discussion so that all may have access to the information offered.

Divided into three major parts, the toolkit details the basics of conservation easements, USDA’s NRCS easement programs as well as more detailed information that may be of benefit to tax professionals. With this user-friendly guide, readers are provided with a primer; focusing on topics such as how to qualify for an easement, the process of constructing an easement, and the tax benefits associated with conservation planning.

This document is not meant to be legal advice. Please contact your attorney or accountant regarding tax and financial information specific to your situation.