Conservation Criteria

Our Mission

Legacy Land Trust’s mission is to create a legacy of farm, ranch and natural lands in northern Colorado. We fulfill our mission by protecting key Colorado properties and landscapes with conservation easements.

Because we are an Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) charitable organization, we are able to provide potential tax benefits to landowners who protect open lands with conservation easements. At the same time, we have a legal and ethical obligation to ensure that lands we protect are evaluated with care and result in real public benefit (this does not mean public access), and that the commitment of the Land Trust can be fulfilled in perpetuity.

Legacy Land Trust’s Land Conservation Criteria

Listed below are the criteria the Land Trust uses to evaluate properties to be considered as a possible conservation easement:

  1. Lands of agricultural or forestry significance.
  2. Lands that contain, or have the potential to contain, ecosystems of educational or scientific value.
  3. Wetlands, floodplains or other riparian lands necessary for the protection of water quality.
  4. Lands of historical value, or adjacent to lands of historical value, and those that are necessary for the protection of the items of historical interest.
  5. Lands that contain endangered, threatened or rare species or natural communities.
  6. Lands that contain unique or outstanding physiographic characteristics (e.g. a large rock outcropping).
  7. Lands that contain wildlife habitat, exemplary ecosystems or natural features (e.g. migratory waterfowl wintering area).
  8. Lands that are valuable to a community as open space due to its proximity to developing areas or its prominent position in how people perceive their community (e.g. open space on a major thoroughfare at the entrance to a town).
  9. Land that, if developed, would diminish scenic views or interfere with views across already protected open space.
  10. Land that is contiguous with, or in close proximity to, land that has been protected by the Legacy Land Trust or other land conservation organizations, or that is likely to be protected in the near future.
  11. Land that provides a buffer for, or corridor between, important wildlife habitats, wetlands, floodplains, or surface and groundwater supplies so that its protection would diminish the impact of dense development on these resources.
  12. Lands that have potential to be a part of community, regional or state park or greenway systems.

Why LLT May Not Pursue Conservation

Please note: Even if your property meets several of the criteria, there may be times when Legacy Land Trust may decide not to pursue a proposed project because the proposal may not fall within specific management or acquisition capabilities of Legacy Land Trust. A decision not to pursue a particular project might include the following examples:

  1. The property would be unusually difficult to manage either because of the cost of upkeep, access problems, size, or other situations related to the particular parcel or the Land Trust’s resources.
  2. There are provisions in the transaction that the Land Trust believes would significantly diminish the property’s conservation values.
  3. The property is not located in a priority area of the Land Trust, or is located in an area that makes annual monitoring particularly difficult and/or the conservation values of the property exceedingly difficult to protect over time.
  4. The property is unalterably contaminated.