For Landowners

for landowners

Since 1990, Bear Yuba Land Trust has helped people conserve their property.

Are you a landowner with property that:

  • Has significant conservation, agricultural or timber value?
  • Provides an important wildlife corridor?
  • Connects to already protected land?


  • Do you own highly appreciated property?
  • Have substantial real estate holdings which may result in high capital gains or estate tax burdens?

A donation of land to BYLT may be an attractive alternative.

Even if your land does not meet the above criteria there may be opportunities to further your charitable and conservation objectives through a land donation to BYLT.

If so, Bear Yuba Land Trust can help you protect your land through a land agreement known as a conservation easement or an outright donation of land. Land donated to BYLT is truly one of the finest legacies a person can leave for future generations.

Goals for Your Property

Landowners conserve their land for many reasons, including: helping pass the family land to future generations and family members, gaining peace of mind that the land’s special features will be protected forever, financial benefits for you and your heirs, and potential reduction in taxes (income, estate and property). Your tax attorney and accountant can tell you more about specific tax benefits.

BYLT’s land conservation staff is available to help you make long-term plans for your property. Several techniques are available, all of which can be tailored to fit your unique circumstances. Your choice of which technique to pursue depends upon your goals for the property, the natural characteristics of the land, and your financial objectives, including income and estate tax planning. Because federal regulations may limit a taxpayer’s ability to fully utilize a deduction, a landowner should seek professional legal and tax advice when considering conservation options.

Conservation Easements

Conservation easements are a powerful, effective tool that can be used to permanently protect private lands. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and Bear Yuba Land Trust which restricts the use of a particular property in order to protect its conservation values.

Conservation easements are used to achieve a variety of conservation purposes, including: open space preservation, agricultural preservation, and natural resource protection. The conservation easement is recorded in the form of a Grant Deed and is binding on successive owners of the property in perpetuity. In other words, it is forever.

A conservation easement is a flexible tool, and is tailored for each specific property based on the common preservation goals of the landowner and the holder of the easement. For example, conservation easements may prohibit development over scenic landscapes, yet allow a home within a designated “building envelope”; prohibit non-agricultural uses over agricultural land; restrict timber harvests to sustainable levels over forest land; or require that land be kept “forever wild” over natural areas.

Trail Easements

A trail easement allows the public to use a trail to access private property for recreational purposes. Landowners still own the land that the trail is on and have all of the rights and responsibilities of an owner.

Most trail easements also give the holder of the easement the right to build and maintain the trail. The trail easement is formalized as a legal document and becomes part of the legal land description, just like a utility or road easement. It is recorded in the County’s Recorder’s Office. Learn more about trail easements.

Contact BYLT’s Executive Director Erin Tarr to learn more.  or 530-272-5994 x 205