Creating Your Nature Reserve
Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy will meet with you, walk your property and have a general discussion about:
- Ecological sensitivity of your property
- Conservation approaches i.e. agreement (covenants and easements), ownership, life estate, bequest, partial taking, bargain sales
- Approximate values
- The probable tax impact (property, capital gain and income)
- The time to complete such a project
The volunteer and staff at EBC are not professional appraisers, accountants, lawyers, or planners. Nor do they have a crystal ball. EBC’s discussion will cite previous examples and rangers, but should be taken neither as a fact nor good advice. Professional appraisers, planners, surveyors are employed where required and the owner should consult their own financial and legal advisors for independent advice. EBC will be pleased to provide you with names of previous donors who can discuss the proccess.
Step Two – Working out the Broad Design
During this stage, the concept will be firmed up:
- Land (fee simple) vs conservation agreement
- Determine the extent of the gift vs purchase
- Determine zone boundaries
- Working of the conservation or life estate agreement
Note: The owner should consult with their family and advisors on the concept and the details developed to confirm that the project meets their objectives. The owner is expected to advise EBC if the project is in question before EBC spends money to finalize details in the following stages, (unless the estimates developed to date are substantially incorrect or the owner’s situation changes dramatically).
Step 3 – Checking the Impact
At this point, experts will be brought into assess the values, confirm the wording is effective and review the planning impact:
- Have a qualified appraiser estimate the value
- Get lawyers to approve the wording
- Consult with financial planners on tax applications
- Order a survey if required
Here the owner should question any outstanding details or conclusions, confirm details of the project with their financial and legal advisors and confirm that the family understands the agreement.