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Foothills Land Conservancy - Conservation Easement Donations Assist in the Preservation of East TN Lands

Conservation Action
FLC's Conservation Easement sign – FLC Staff

What Can Be Done

Currently, the Foothills Land Conservancy works primarily with East Tennessee landowners who wish to preserve their property in its natural state ‘in perpetuity’ – or forever. When a land owner and a land trust decide to move forward with this option they create a formal agreement, called a conservation easement, that is valid now and in the future. Both parties work together to ensure the landowners wishes are included, covering allowable land uses as well as prohibited activities on the property. All conservation easements coordinated through Foothills are customized, voluntary, approved by a Board of Directors and monitored at least once a year to make sure the landowners wishes specified in the easement are being followed.

One thing to note - when landowners donate a conservation easement they maintain ownership and management of their land and can sell or pass the land on to their heirs while foregoing future development rights. They can also decide to bequeath the land to private or public entities.

Conservation-minded landowners now have until December 31, 2011 to take advantage of a significant tax deduction for donating a voluntary conservation agreement to permanently protect important natural or historic resources on their land. The incentive, which had expired at the end of 2009, helped conservation organizations like East Tennessee’s Foothills Land Conservancy work with willing landowners to conserve over 8200 acres of productive agricultural lands and natural areas between 2006 and 2009. Foothills now has over 70 conservation easement agreements in 13 counties.

Foothills Land Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and does not receive any financial support from federal, state, or local governments. FLC welcomes any and all donations. Our Friends receive all invitations and announcements as well as the satisfaction of knowing their contributions go towards sustaining our organizational, land acquisition and stewardship funds. We are always willing to provide presentations or tours to groups and organizations at no charge. For more information on how you can support FLC, please visit, email [email protected] or call 865-681-8326.

What the Result Will Be

The result of these efforts benefit:

  • future generations
  • our community's quality of life
  • and assists in the preservation of East TN's cultural heritage, open spaces, woodlands, watersheds, ridge top views as well as native and migrating wildlife.

Nearby Places