Educating, empowering, motivating, and inspiring people to conserve land through voluntary actions.
UVLT connects partners and builds private and public support to carry out conservation transactions and encourage civic participation in conservation strategies and priorities. We work with Upper Valley landowners to permanently conserve their land and we monitor and enforce conservation protections on permanently-conserved parcels of land.
Our conservation transactions include donated conservation agreements and purchases, as well as land received through bequests or bought with local conservation funds. We conserve heritage parcels that will pass through a family for generations and we conserve properties that are in transition and presently for sale.
Our land protection priorities are shaped by the needs of the region we serve. We work closely with local conservation commissions, neighborhood groups, landowners and civic leaders to identify and protect the region’s most special places. In determining which conservation projects to undertake, UVLT considers the nature of the resources to be conserved, the potential public and environmental benefits, the level of community support, as well as future stewardship obligations.
Landowners who conserve their land with UVLT entrust our organization with a duty of stewardship – the responsibility to defend the terms of the conservation easement in perpetuity. When an easement is signed, UVLT’s work is just beginning. To learn more, view the printable PDF: Our Stewardship Commitment and visit our Volunteer page to learn about ways you can help our stewardship staff.
Land Trusts utilize a variety of private, non-regulatory strategies to permanently protect important land resources. Our solutions are creative and flexible – we would be pleased to work with you to meet your land conservation goals. Please view this printable PDF: Selecting a Conservation Strategy to help you find the conservation approach that is right for you.
Our primary conservation tool is a conservation easement deed, a powerful, permanent legal agreement that can be tailored to meet varying goals and situations and combined with conventional real estate conveyances like purchase and sales contracts, option agreements, or rights of first refusal. A conservation easement is a deed that specifies the types and locations of activities permitted on a particular parcel of land. A conservation easement “runs with the land” so all future owners of the parcel are bound to the terms of the conservation easement. Learn more about conservation easements by reading this printable PDF: Conservation Easements FAQs. For information about the possible federal income and estate tax benefits of donating a conservation easement, see the printable PDF: Tax Incentives of Land Conservation. For the steps involved in donating a conservation easement, view this printable PDF: Donating a Conservation Easement.
Public access is not a requirement of a conservation easement, however some landowners choose to incorporate it into the document. In some cases, landowners who choose to do this are protected from liability through New Hampshire Landowner Liability Law and Vermont Landowner Liability Law. Each conservation project is unique and depends upon the voluntary efforts of landowners and communities.