Untouched Glory, In your Back Yard
The Personal Conservation Easement
Dr. Stevenson purchased a 400 – acre tract of land with a sizeable lake in the mountains of the Southeast for investment purposes several years ago. After hearing about conservation easements, Dr. Stevenson hired Forever Forests to manage his project. With Forever Forests’ guidance, Dr. Stevenson executed a conservation easement on the property and received sufficient income tax savings to more than recover his basis in the property. Dr. Stevenson and his family continue to own and enjoy his mountain lake property and have improved it with a family compound, trails, and dock access to the lake, all of which were allowed under the terms of the easement.
The Select Reserve Program
Mr. Thurmond, an existing client of Forever Forests, sought to own a ranch with mountain views somewhere in Colorado. Mr. Thurmond contracted Forever Forests to assist in locating a property under our Sterling Services Program. Forever Forests identified and evaluated several viable options for Mr. Thurmond. Mr. Thurmond chose to utilize a 1031 exchange to acquire one of the identified properties, a 300-acre ranch in central Colorado. Later in the year and with Forever Forests’ guidance, he granted a conservation easement on the property and was able to use his tax savings to recover a large part of his initial investment while eliminating deferred taxes on the 1031 gains. Mr. Thurmond continues to enjoy his ranch in Colorado with its mountain views, lodge, barn, trails, and livestock.
The Conservation Facilitator
The sale of Ms. Ackerman’s company in January generated an ordinary income windfall profit. She contacted Forever Forests who introduced her to another of their clients, Mr. Brookshire. With the help of Forever Forests, Mr. Brookshire had earlier evaluated the possibility of permanently preserving his timber tract and a qualified appraiser had estimated the amount of federal income tax deductions that could be claimed if the property were to be conserved. Unfortunately, Mr. Brookshire was unable to utilize all of the deductions. Ms. Ackerman offered to purchase a significant share of his ownership interests in the property while agreeing that Mr. Brookshire could retain managerial control. After closing, the partners agreed to preserve the property through the grant of a conservation easement. Ms. Ackerman offset 50% of her windfall profit using her share of the tax benefits whose cash value was more than 30% in excess of her purchase price. After a few years, Mr. Brookshire repurchased Ms. Ackerman’s shares and the partnership dissolved.
The Private Conservation Partnership
Tom Gardner and his son purchased a 500-acre tract of land from a good friend who had in years past invited them to enjoy his hunting preserve. Soon after, a local Land Trust contacted them to encourage them to preserve the property for the sensitive natural habitats it contained. They hired Forever Forests to evaluate this opportunity and guide the process. A little more than a year later, the Gardner’s executed a conservation easement on the property. A qualified appraisal was conducted based on the highest and best use of the land, determining that a sizeable donation could be justified due to the property’s development potential. Mr. Gardner and his son invited their friend to partner with them and share in these deductions. The Gardner’s were able to save enough on their federal and state income taxes over the next three years to more than recover their initial investment in the land. The Gardner’s continue to own, use and enjoy their hunting preserve and have used their tax savings to improve the property with a hunting lodge, trails, feed plots, maintenance facilities and a caretaker’s residence, all of which are allowed under the terms of the easement.