Watershed Land Trust, Inc.
Watershed Land Trust

Frank Austenfeld, J.D.
Executive Director
7211 W. 98th Terr.
Ste. 140
Overland Park, KS 66212

913-685-4600
frank@WatershedInstitute.biz
The following is an example of a conservation easement held by one of the many land trusts in Missouri
and the benefits described by the landowner:



Tom and Marilyn Vernon Conservation Easement

The following summary was written by Tom and Marilyn Vernon, who gave the development rights to their 18-acre property
to The Greenbelt Land Trust.

"For the past nine years we have worked a small vineyard on Nebo Cemetery Road. We’ve come to love the natural
beauty, wildlife and farms of this area. When we drive to our vineyard on Gillespie Bridge Road, we’re very concerned by
what we see. Farms and natural areas are rapidly turning into commercial and residential development.

"For this reason we recently gave the development rights to our 18 acres to The Greenbelt Land Trust. As a result of this
voluntary gift we will take a tax deduction of $99,000 from our adjusted gross income spread over the next five years. (IRS
publications 526 and 561 describe the tax matters related to this.)

"This gift does not limit our ownership or control of the property. We can still farm it, sell it, and pass it on to our children.
We can also increase or reduce the amount of land under cultivation if we want to.

"Our legal agreement with the Greenbelt Land Trust, the conservation easement that describes the gift, limits the extent to
which the land can be developed. For example, one residence plus outbuildings is allowed; a housing development is not
allowed. A confined animal operation is not allowed. It also describes the obligations of the land trust to insure that the
agreement is enforced. In essence the agreement permanently protects the pastures and woods, the natural beauty of
area around the vineyard for future generations.

"We hope other Boone County land owners will consider the benefits of conservation easements of this sort. If so, the
county might retain the natural beauty and agricultural atmosphere that many of us love and that make the county a special
place.

"Tom and Marilyn Vernon (9/23/04)"


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