Eligibility Requirements

Easement Donation Requirements

Donated conservation easement offers will be considered on an individual basis. They do not necessarily have to meet the specifications of purchased easements.

Easement Purchase Requirements

Easement purchase offers must meet the following requirements to be considered.

  1. The property owner is willing to sell the conservation easement over the property through a legally binding agreement that is perpetual and enforceable.
  2. The property is either free of any mortgage, lien or tax assessment, or the lender is willing to subordinate the loan to the conservation easement, or the loan is not in excess of the agricultural value.  If a secured loan exists, the donor understands that Federal tax benefits are not available.
  3. The conservation easement donation preserves open space, natural resources, an ecosystem, forestland, farmland, and/or native plants or animals.
  4. The property is either farmland or is in a relatively undisturbed natural condition, or contains natural features that need to be preserved.
  5. The property is not unduly subject to pollution or adverse influences from surrounding sources.  The property itself is not polluted or subject to liability for any pollution clean up.
  6. Protection of the property will be consistent with established public policy. For instance, it may be inappropriate to accept a conservation easement on a piece of property already indicated for intended public roads.
  7. The property is of sufficient size that the conservation resources of the property are likely to remain intact.
  8. Mineral and coal rights are owned by the surface owner or, if severed, are determined by the NCFPB not to threaten the Conservation Easement.
  9. The conditions required to be agreed to by the property owner do not contain provisions which are unworkable or inconsistent with the overall intent of the conservation easement.  The provisions, for instance, could not diminish the property’s primary conservation value or be unenforceable.
  10. The conservation easement is within the Nicholas County Farmland Protection Board’s means and ability to monitor and enforce, and/or the landowner is willing to provide compensation to assist in this effort to make the effort financially feasible.
  11. The acceptance of the conservation easement will not create an unusual or special liability exposure.
  12. Adequate and permanent access to the property is available.
  13. A survey has been completed on the property at some point in time, and current property lines can be verified by this survey.