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Photo fo a bay on Damariscove Island

Damariscove Island, a 210-acre preserve, was protected by The Nature Conservancy and is now owned and managed by the Boothbay Region Land Trust. (Photo: Nancy Lindberg)

Resources for Landowners

Land trusts, and other nonprofit land conservation organizations in Maine, play a critical role in the protection of our state's unique quality of life-preserving the extraordinary landscape that provides wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and community enrichment.

Land Trusts

There is a well established movement of land conservation in Maine, comprised of more than 95 local land trusts, as well as statewide and regional organizations such as Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Land trusts are community based organizations, usually 501(c)(3) nonprofits, that work with willing land owners to conserve land through acquisition, conservation easements, or other interests in real property. Land trusts are supported by charitable donations and use funds for a variety of purposes in support of their mission. Once land has been protected, land trusts have an ongoing responsibility to care for the land, ensuring that conservation easements are complied with and that preserves are well managed.

To find a land trust that works in your community visit Find a Land Trust.

Conserving Your Land

As a landowner, you may consider a variety of ways in which you can protect your land. Many conservation methods offer tax advantages, helping to reduce estate, income, and property taxes. There are three common conservation methods to help you ensure the permanent protection of the special features of your property: conservation easements, donating your land, and selling your land. Other Conservation methods such as leases, deed restrictions, mutual covenants and management agreements could also be considered, but do not necessarily ensure permanent conservation of your land or provide substantial tax benefits.

For a more detailed description of these options visit Conserving Your Land a web-based publication written by Maine Coast Heritage Trust or answers to frequently asked land conservation questions a helpful list compiled by the Land Trust Alliance.