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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    March 01, 2002

    Conservation Easements: Important Tools to Preserve Land

    A conservation easement preserves open spaces and other environmentally significant resources while providing income, property, and estate tax savings to the landowner.

    Johanna LondonRichard Langer

    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 75, No. 3, March 2002

    Conservation Easements: Important tools to preserve land


    A conservation easement preserves open spaces and other environmentally significant resources while providing income, property, and estate tax savings to the landowner.

    by Johanna J. London & Richard J. Langer

    Wisconsin, with its beautiful fields, forests, lakes, and streams, has a long history of land conservation. As Wisconsin's population expands, many private landowners are searching for methods to protect their land from development. A conservation easement is an important tool because it preserves open spaces and other environmentally significant resources while also providing income, property, and estate tax savings to the landowner.

    This article describes the general steps required to create a conservation easement, and it explains the income, property, and estate tax benefits that can result from donating a conservation easement.

    field of flowersConservation Easements

    A conservation easement restricts some or all of the development rights associated with land. A landowner donates those development rights to a governmental agency or a tax-exempt organization classified as a publicly supported charity under section  501(c)(3) of the InternalRevenue Code (IRC).1 A conservation easement is recorded to reflect the recipient organization's ownership of those development rights.

    A conservation easement is appealing to a landowner because:

    • it is voluntary (the landowner elects to grant the easement);
    • it is flexible (each easement can be tailored to the specific needs and wishes of the landowner and the recipient organization);
    • it is efficient (the public receives only that which is necessary to achieve its desired conservation purpose - the development rights)2; and
    • if the easement meets certain IRC requirements, it offers substantial income, property, and estate tax savings to the landowner.

    In addition, a conservation easement is more economical for government agencies and nonprofit organizations than purchasing fee title because the cost of maintaining the underlying land, and the benefits of its continued use, remain with the landowner.3

    The environmental protection laws enacted during the past 40 years have encouraged the widespread use of conservation easements. These easements typically are granted to charitable organizations known as "land trusts." Land trusts are grassroots charitable organizations organized to conserve land by influencing federal, state, or local regulations that affect land, or by managing land that is important for its natural, recreational, historical, scenic, or productive value.4 According to a recent study conducted by the Land Trust Alliance, land trust organizations nationwide own conservation easements that protect more than 2.6 million acres.5 In Wisconsin, there are more than 40 local land trusts that protect more than 17,000 acres.6


    Johanna J LondonJohanna J. London, U.W. 2000, CPA, is an associate of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Madison, practicing in all aspects of tax and corporate law. She formerly served as a law clerk to John R. Evans, chief legal counsel for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue – Office of Legal Services. She is a member of the ABA Tax Section and its subcommittee on Court Practices and Procedures and the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    Richard J. LangerRichard J. Langer, U.W. 1974, is a partner in Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, where he practices in estate planning, estate administration, trusts, and marital property. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and a member of the Madison Estate Council and the American, Wisconsin, and Dane County bar associations. He is a contributing author and coauthor of several books, including the State Bar CLE Books Eckhardt's Workbook for Wisconsin Estate Planners and The Marital Property Classification Handbook. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Who's Who in American Law.


    The modern conservation easement evolved from the common law of easements, real covenants, and equitable servitudes.7 Under common law, the enforcement of a conservation easement was problematic because the easement was not assignable and would not run with the land.8 To facilitate a uniform authority for conservation easements, and to overcome many of the problems with the common law, 16 states and the District of Columbia adopted the Uniform Conservation Easement Act (UCEA).9 In 1981 Wisconsin became the first state to adopt the UCEA.10 The UCEA sets forth a comprehensive approach to the use of conservation easements. First, the UCEA provides a broad definition of a conservation easement and eliminates many ofthe common law barriers to perpetual easements.11 Second, it enlarges the definition of an easement "holder" to include both governmental bodies and charitable organizations whose purpose is conservation.12 Third, the UCEA expands the class of entities that can enforce a conservation easement to include both the holder and certain third-party organizations eligible to be holders.13 Finally, in response to concerns from conservation organizations about notice to successor landowners, the UCEA provides that a conservation easement is not effective until the holder records an acceptance of the easement.14 Once an acceptance is recorded, the easement is perpetual in duration, absent an express provision to the contrary in the easement itself.

    There are many situations in which the grant of a conservation easement is an effective conservation tool. Examples of such situations include: 1) privately owned property that is environmentally unique or stressed as a result of residential sprawl; 2) property that is part of a community's "smart growth," restoration, or comprehensive land-use plan; and 3) a real estate development in which development intensity is minimized in order to maximize land value. The following is a case study that will be used throughout this article to illustrate the requirements of an effective conservation easement and the benefits that result from such an easement.

    Case Study

    Vivian Landowner owns Valley View Farm (Valley View), a 640-acre farm in Wisconsin. Valley view has rolling hills, rock outcroppings, and open vistas. Development activity is strong in the neighborhood, as several nearby farms recently were subdivided into home sites. Vivian and her deceased husband had purchased Valley View 35 years ago for $50,000. When Vivian's husband died 15 years ago, Valley View was worth $100,000, but it is now worth $2,000,000. Valley View is zoned AG-1. Vivian leases approximately 100 acres to a local farmer. Officials from the Town of Beehive, in which Valley View is located, have approached Vivian to discuss modifications to Beehive's five-year land-use plan. The modifications include rezoning Valley View and adjoining properties to allow for residential and business development.

    Vivian and her family love the woods, the hills, and the calm of Valley View. They want to preserve Valley View undeveloped for their current use and enjoyment and for their descendants. Vivian is active in the conservation community and would like to donate a conservation easement on Valley View to her local land trust (Valley Preservation).

    Although a conservation easement is a lengthy document drafted to prevent potentially ambiguous situations, the following is a simple example of the easement given by Vivian Landowner to Valley Preservation:

    "I hereby grant to Valley Preservation, and Valley Preservation hereby accepts, a conservation easement over Valley View Farm for the purpose of protecting the natural habitat and preserving open spaces. I agree that Valley Preservation shall have the right and obligation to enforce this easement in perpetuity, as follows: I reserve the right to continue living on the farm and to come and go as I please. I reserve the right to lease and sell the farm, to make gifts of the farm during my lifetime, and to distribute the farm at my death to anyone I choose (subject, in all cases, to the terms and conditions of this easement). I agree that the general public will not be permitted onto the farm, but that they will be permitted to enjoy the scenic vistas offered by the farm from all of the adjoining roadways. I agree that the farm cannot at any time hereafter be subdivided, developed, or used for commercial recreation activities (... except that I reserve the right to carve out three five-acre parcels as future home sites)."

    The steps in donating a conservation easement consist of: 1) choosing an entity to hold the easement and establishing a relationship with that entity; 2) compiling an inventory of the property; 3) negotiating the restrictions on the property; and 4) drafting and recording the easement document.

    Choosing the Entity. After the landowner has decided to donate a conservation easement, the first step is to determine whether the recipient is an appropriate entity to hold the easement. Under the UCEA, two types of entities are qualified to hold an easement: governmental entities; and charitable organizations whose purpose is conservation.15 Again, most of these charitable organizations are land trusts.

    Like other types of land use restrictions, a conservation easement may be susceptible to challenge by a successor landowner. Therefore, when choosing an entity, the landowner must consider the entity's ability to monitor and enforce the easement. Furthermore, the landowner may be required to make an initial donation to the entity to help pay for future monitoring and enforcement costs related to the easement as a condition of the entity's acceptance of the easement.

    In the case study, Vivian determines that Valley Preservation has sufficient assets and staff (both paid and volunteer) to monitor and enforce the easement effectively. Valley Preservation requires Vivian to make a cash donation to its Easement Enforcement Fund (a restricted fund that limits Valley Preservation to using the fund resources exclusively for easement enforcement activities) in an amount equal to 1.0 percent of the easement's fair market value.

    Compiling an Inventory of the Property. The second step in donating a conservation easement is compiling an inventory of the property, often called a "baseline inventory."16 To establish a baseline inventory, a title search is performed and a specific description of the property is completed, including a legal description and a list of the unique flora and fauna located on the property.17

    A title search determines the property's current and previous owners and reveals any mortgage holders, liens, judgments, tax claims, or pending legal suits related to the property, and whether any mineral rights have been sold.18 If it appears that the current or previous owners may have left hazardous substances on the property, an environmental audit should be performed.

    A specific description of the resources that the easement will protect should be prepared. This establishes a reference point to determine if violations of the easement restrictions have occurred. In addition, the property should be surveyed if an accurate survey has not been completed within the last 30 years.19

    Drafting and Recording the Easement. The landowner must decide which uses of the property to grant and which to retain. In general, the landowner retains ownership of the land and may continue to use the property for any purpose not inconsistent with the easement. Some examples of rights that may be retained include timber rights, hunting and fishing rights, farming and ranching rights, and limited development rights. The easement's restrictions and purpose should be drafted carefully to prevent problems of interpretation with successor landowners.

    At a minimum, the conservation easement should contain these provisions:

    • the purpose and the duration of the conservation easement;
    • the rights conveyed to the easement holder;
    • specific restrictions on and permissible uses of the land;
    • identification of the party responsible for real estate taxes;
    • circumstances under which the easement may be amended;
    • address to which legal notices should be sent;
    • provisions regarding easement enforceability; and
    • obligations of successor landowners.20

    After the conservation easement is drafted, the landowner signs the easement and the land trust accepts it. The easement then must be recorded to be effective.21

    Obtaining a Qualified Appraisal. To enjoy the tax benefits of a conservation easement, the landowner must obtain a "qualified appraisal," which includes a description of the property, the method of valuation used to determine the property value, and information about the appraiser's qualifications.22 The appraisal must be completed by the due date for the federal income tax return for the year in which the gift was made.

    The Treasury Regulations provide that the value of a conservation easement is equal to the sale price of comparable easements.23 As a practical matter, such comparable data usually is not available. Thus, the Treasury Regulations permit an alternative test, known as the "before and after test." Under this test, the value of the conservation easement is equal to the difference between the fair market value of the property it encumbers before the granting of the easement and the fair market value of the property after the easement.24

    In the case study, the value of Valley View without any easement is $2,000,000. If a qualified appraiser were to determine that the value of Valley View with the easement is $800,000, then the value of the easement (and the amount of the charitable contribution for tax purposes) is $1,200,000.

    If a landowner is considering a conservation easement over only a portion of the land, the Treasury Regulations require that the value of the easement be reduced if it increases the value of the other property not subject to the easement.25 Furthermore, the landowner's income tax basis in the land will be reduced proportionately to the value of the conservation easement.26

    Income Tax Benefits

    The IRC provides that the contribution of a conservation easement will be deductible for federal income tax purposes to the extent of the value of the contribution, as gauged by the "before and after test."27 To qualify for this tax deduction, conservation easements must satisfy the following three requirements:

    1) Qualified Real Property Interest. The contribution must consist of a "qualified real property interest." A conservation easement that is granted in perpetuity is a "qualified real property interest."28

    2) Qualified Organization. The conservation easement must be given to a "qualified organization."29 The IRC defines "qualified organization" to include governmental units and publicly supported charitable organizations that are described in I.R.C. § 501(c)(3).30 Again, these charitable organizations typically take the form of "land trusts." For charitable organizations, the Treasury Regulations impose the additional eligibility requirements that: 1) the organization be committed to protecting the conservation purposes of the donation; and 2) it have the resources to enforce the easement.31 The charitable organization, however, is not required to set aside funds to enforce a particular conservation easement.32

    3) Exclusively for Conservation Purposes. The conservation easement must be given "exclusively for conservation purposes."33 The IRC and Treasury Regulations specify four types of qualifying "conservation purposes," which are: 1) to provide public recreation or education; 2) to protect a significant natural habitat; 3) to preserve open spaces; and 4) to preserve historically important lands or to protect certified historic structures.34 The conservation purpose is influenced by the amount of access to the underlying land that the public will have.

    An easement that preserves land for the general public's outdoor recreation or education will satisfy the conservation purpose requirement.35 Examples of such easements include those that preserve a water area for the use of the public for boating or fishing or that preserve a nature or hiking trail for the use of the public. Because this conservation purpose requires that the general public have "substantial and regular" access to the land, landowners often prefer that their easement qualify under one or more of the other conservation purposes.36

    An easement that protects a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife, or plants also will satisfy the conservation purpose requirement.37 The fact that human activity has altered the habitat to some extent will not thwart the conservation purpose, provided the fish, wildlife, or plants continue to exist in a "relatively natural state."38 Furthermore, placing a limit on the public's access to the land will not disqualify the easement for the income tax deduction.39 However, the protected habitat should be "significant."40 Examples of "significant" habitats include a habitat for endangered species, a natural area that represents high-quality examples of a terrestrial or aquatic community, and a natural area that contributes to the ecological viability of a state park, nature preserve, or similar conservation area.41

    The preservation of open space is another valid conservation purpose.42 An open space easement will qualify if it is either: 1) for the general public's "scenic enjoyment"; or 2) given pursuant to a clearly delineated federal, state, or local governmental conservation policy.43 Scenic enjoyment is gauged on a case-by-case basis, and the Treasury Regulations list eight factors to consider, including the openness of the land, relief from urban closeness, and the degree of contrast and variety provided by the visual scene.44 The Treasury Regulations also provide that visual, rather than physical, access to the property by the general public is sufficient to satisfy the scenic enjoyment requirement (although the public benefit from the donation may be insufficient to qualify for a deduction if only a small portion of the property is visible to the public).45 Furthermore, an open space easement must yield a "significant public benefit."46 Again, this requirement is satisfied on a case-by-case basis, and the Treasury Regulations list 11 factors to consider, including the uniqueness of the property to the area, the intensity of land development in the vicinity, and the consistency of the proposed open space use with public programs for conservation in the area.47

    The final purpose of a conservation easement is to preserve a "historically important land area" or a "certified historic structure."48 The Treasury Regulations define a "historically important land area" as an archaeological site or Civil War battlefield, any land area within a registered historic district, or any land area adjacent to a property listed in the National Register of Historic Places where the features of the land contribute to the historical integrity of the property.49 The Treasury Regulations define a "certified historic structure" as a building, structure, or land area listed in the National Register or located in a registered historic district and certified as having historical significance.50 In either case, some visual public access to the property is required. Where the historic land area or certified historic structure is not visible from a public way, the easement must give the general public the opportunity on a regular basis to view the features of the property that are preserved by the easement.51 The Treasury Regulations list the factors for determining the type and amount of public access required for a historic preservation easement, including the property's historic significance, the nature of the features that are the subject of the easement, and the accessibility of the site to the public.52

    In addition to satisfying the conservation purposes test, the IRC requires that the easement must be given "exclusively" for such purposes.53 To be "exclusive," the easement must be donated to the qualified organization "in perpetuity."54 A contribution that advances one of the four conservation purposes described above, but permits destruction of other significant conservation interests, would not be deductible.55 Finally, if the land is encumbered with a mortgage, the mortgagee must subordinate its rights so that the qualified organization can enforce the conservation purposes.56

    In the case study, Vivian Landowner's conservation easement should qualify for an income tax deduction because it meets all three requirements under the IRC: 1) It is a conservation easement in perpetuity that 2) is given to Valley Preservation, a qualified organization, exclusively 3) for the conservation purposes of protecting the natural habitat and preserving open spaces. To the extent Vivian has retained rights to develop three five-acre future home sites, the retention is not so large as to jeopardize the easement's conservation purposes.

    As stated above, the value of the easement on Valley View for income tax purposes is $1,200,000 based on the "before and after test." Vivian Landowner, however, most likely will not be able to claim the entire charitable contribution on her income tax return because such a deduction is limited by the IRC to 30 percent of her adjusted gross income, with any excess charitable deduction carried forward for five years.57 For example, if Vivian Landowner's adjusted gross income is $150,000, the maximum charitable deduction she can claim for the easement in the taxable year of the gift, and the five succeeding years, is $45,000 per year ($150,000 x 30 percent). This 30 percent limitation obviously will result in leaving unused most of the charitable deduction. To avoid this problem, Vivian could give the conservation easement over only a portion of the land, thereby generating a lower income tax charitable deduction. Six years thereafter, she could give a second conservation easement over another portion of the land, and so forth, until all of Valley View is protected. If Vivian dies before all of the land is protected, the final easements could be granted in her will or revocable trust.

    Finally, Vivian's income tax basis in Valley View will be reduced by the easement donation. Thus, if the basis of Valley View to Vivian Landowner before the easement is $100,000, then the basis to her after the easement is $40,000 ($100,000 x ($800,000/$2,000,000)).

    Property Tax Benefits

    The grant of a conservation easement may provide a landowner with important property tax benefits. In general, the assessment of land for property tax purposes reflects the "highest and best use" of that land. The highest and best use is the most profitable, likely, and legal use of that property.58 Because conservation easements often restrict the property's permissible uses, the restrictions are likely to alter the highest and best use and correspondingly diminish the value of the property.59 For example, if a conservation easement requiring that the property remain in its natural state were placed on vacant land with a highest and best use as a residential subdivision, the land's fair market value would no longer reflect its potential use as a residential subdivision. Instead, the fair market value of the property would reflect its restricted use as undeveloped property.

    Wisconsin law requires assessors to consider the effect of any conservation easement created under the UCEA on the property value.60 Local assessors, however, may be reluctant to acknowledge the downward effect of an easement when assessing a particular piece of property because of a feared negative effect on local revenues.61 In reality, conservation
    easements have a minimal effect on local revenues because undeveloped land should require fewer municipal resources.62 In addition, land subject to a conservation easement most likely will have a positive effect on the property values of adjacent property because areas with restricted development and extensive open space are generally the most desirable places to live.63

    In the case study, Valley View will likely experience a diminution in assessed value as a result of the grant of a conservation easement. Although Valley View is currently zoned AG-1, local officials have indicated that the Town of Beehive would like to include the development of Valley View as part of its five-year plan. Therefore, absent a conservation easement, Valley View is likely to be developed as residential and/or business property. However, with the conservation easement, Valley View will be preserved in its natural state, and its property tax value should be reduced correspondingly.

    Estate Tax Benefits

    In addition to income tax and property tax benefits, conservation easements provide two substantial estate tax benefits. First, the property is included in a decedent's estate at its reduced value (that is, its post-easement value). Second, I.R.C. § 2031(c) provides an additional benefit by excluding a portion of the land value (but not improvements) from the federal estate tax. This exclusion is equal to the lesser of the "applicable percentage" or $500,000 (in 2002 and thereafter). The "applicable percentage" is defined by a complex formula as follows: 40 percent, reduced (but not below zero) by two percentage points for each percentage point (or fraction thereof) by which the value of the easement is less than 30 percent of the value of the land (determined without regard to the value of the easement), and further reduced by any "retained development right."64 This formula is designed to limit or deny the benefits of the § 2031(c) exclusion to "small" easements, namely those easements valued at less than 30 percent of the total property value.65

    In the case study, if Vivian Landowner dies when the total value of Valley View (excluding improvements) is $2,000,000, and if the value of the easement is $1,200,000, the value of Valley View on Vivian's estate tax return is $800,000. In addition, Vivian's estate gets a further exclusion under IRC § 2031(c) in the amount of $320,000 (40 percent x $800,000). In total, the conservation easement will result in Valley View Farm being taxed in Vivian's estate at $480,000 ($2,000,000 total value - $1,200,000 value of easement - $320,000 value of § 2031(c) exclusion). This will produce an enormous estate tax savings in her estate (based on the total value of her other assets) and will avoid the forced sale of Valley View to pay estate taxes.

    To qualify under I.R.C. § 2031(c), several additional requirements must be met. First, the conservation easement must be a "qualified conservation easement" under I.R.C. § 170(h) relating to the income tax deduction (although easements for historic land or certified historic structures are not eligible).66 Second, the property subject to the easement must have been owned by the decedent or a "member of the decedent's family" (defined at I.R.C. § 2032A(e)(2)) at all times during the three-year period ending on the date of the decedent's death.67 Finally, if the property is subject to a mortgage, an amount of land value equal to the mortgage will not be eligible for the exclusion.68

    The portion of the property excluded under I.R.C. § 2031(c) is not eligible for a basis adjustment at death, but instead retains the decedent's basis.69 In the case study, the amount excluded under I.R.C. § 2031(c) was $320,000. Given that Vivian's basis in Valley View after the easement was $40,000, the amount of basis allocable to the § 2031(c) exclusion is $16,000 (($320,000/$800,000) x $40,000). The taxable portion of Valley View will receive a new basis of $480,000 (its value on the estate tax return). Thus, the total adjusted basis of Valley View after Vivian's death will be $496,000 ($480,000 + $16,000).

    The decedent's personal representative must affirmatively make an election on the estate tax return to qualify for I.R.C. § 2031(c). This election is required because, under certain circumstances, it may be disadvantageous to claim the exclusion (for example, if the estate is not otherwise subject to estate tax).

    Significantly, the IRC provides that a conservation easement may be granted after a decedent's death as part of post-mortem tax planning.70 In such an event, the property would be taxed at its reduced value, and the § 2031(c) exclusion would be available. The estate, however, could not also claim an income tax charitable deduction.71 Thus, greater tax benefits can be achieved by granting conservation easements during life rather than after death. In addition, in Wisconsin, a post-mortem grant of a conservation easement by the estate's personal representative (or trustee of a revocable trust) almost certainly would require a petition to the court and the consent of all beneficiaries.72

    Amending or Terminating a Conservation Easement

    Although the IRC requires that a conservation easement be granted in perpetuity, there are certain circumstances under which the amendment or the termination of an easement is permitted. First, an amendment should either strengthen the protective terms of the easement or be neutral and must "never result in net degradation of the conservation values the easement [was] designed to protect."73 Reasons for amending a conservation easement include to clarify its terms, recognize a boundary adjustment, change the site of permitted activities, effect a change in local zoning regulations, and increase easement restrictions.74 Depending on the specific changes, the amendment may affect the value of the conservation easement and result in an additional income tax deduction for the landowner.75 An amendment must be recorded to be valid.

    A conservation easement can be terminated only through judicial proceeding.76 Under the IRC, circumstances that might justify termination involve a change in conditions surrounding the property that makes the conservation purpose of the easement impossible or impracticable to achieve.77 Circumstances in which an easement can be terminated include: a condemnation proceeding, provided the landowner and the easement holder are compensated adequately;78 a state law that automatically extinguishes restrictions or claims to real property after a specified number of years;79 and the action or inaction of the holder. Any proceeds received by the holder as a result of the termination must be used in a manner that is consistent with the conservation purposes of the original grant.80 A conservation easement should not be terminated simply because the landowner wishes to sell the property for its unrestricted value. If an easement is terminated for this reason, the landowner may lose the original charitable deduction, and the holder may jeopardize its tax-exempt status.81

    Conclusion

    Conservation easements are an important tool for preserving environmentally unique areas, open spaces, and historical structures, because they are voluntary, flexible, and cost effective. A property owner can use a conservation easement to protect land permanently from development by establishing restrictions that limit the ability to develop the land and permit only those uses that are consistent with the goals of the landowner and the purposes of the easement. A properly drafted and executed easement entitles a landowner to substantial income, property, and estate tax benefits, thereby creating an additional incentive to promote

    conservation.

    Endnotes

    1 I.R.C. § 170(h)(3).

    2 James Boyd, Kathryn Caballero & R. David Simpson, The Law and Economics of Habitat Conservation: Lessons From an Analysis of Easement Acquisitions, 19 Stan. Envtl. L.J. 209, 212 (2000).

    3 Id.

    4 Wis. Dep't Nat. Resources, Protecting Your Land: A Guide for Wisconsin Private Landowners, at 13 (Publ. No. ER05892 Jan. 1993).

    5 Katherine Q. Seelye, More Families Adopting Lasting Limits to Preserve Land, N.Y. Times at B1 (Sept. 12, 2001).

    6 For more information, see Gathering Waters Conservancy, <www.gatheringwaters.org> or Land Trust Alliance, <www.lta.org>.

    7 John L. Hollingshead, Conservation Easements: A Flexible Tool for Land Preservation, 3 Envtl. Law 319, 324 (1997).

    8 Id.

    9 Uniform Conservation Easement Act, 12 U.L.A. 170 (1996).

    10 The UCEA is codified at Wis. Stat. § 700.40.

    11 Hollingshead, supra note 7, at 335.

    12 Id. at 336.

    13 Id.

    14 Id.

    15 Wis. Stat. § 700.40(1)(b).

    16 Maureen Rudolph & Adrian Gosch, A Practitioner's Guide to Drafting Conservation Easements and the Tax Implications, 4 Great Plains Nat. Resources J. 143, 149 (2000).

    17 Id.

    18 Id. at 150-52.

    19 Id.

    20 Id. at 155-58.

    21 Wis. Stat. § 700.40(2)(b).

    22 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-13(c)(3)(ii).

    23 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(h)(3)(i).

    24 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(h)(3)(ii).

    25 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(h)(3).

    26 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(h)(3)(iii).

    27 I.R.C. § 170(f)(3)(B)(iii), (h); Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(h)(3)(iii).

    28 I.R.C. § 170(h)(2)(C); Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(b).

    29 I.R.C. § 170(h)(3); Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(c).

    30 Id.

    31 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(c)(1).

    32 Id.

    33 I.R.C. § 170(h)(1)(C).

    34 I.R.C. § 170(h)(4).

    35 I.R.C. § 170(h)(4)(A)(i).

    36 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(2)(ii).

    37 I.R.C. § 170(h)(4)(A)(ii); Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(3).

    38 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(3)(i).

    39 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(3)(iii).

    40 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(3)(ii).

    41 Id.

    42 I.R.C. § 170(h)(4)(A)(iii).

    43 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(4).

    44 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(4)(ii)(A).

    45 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(4)(ii)(B).

    46 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(4)(iv)(A).

    47 Id.

    48 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(5).

    49 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(5)(ii).

    50 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(5)(iii).

    51 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(5)(iv)(A).

    52 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(d)(5)(iv)(B).

    53 I.R.C. § 170(h)(1)(C).

    54 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(g)(1).

    55 Id.

    56 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(g)(2).

    57 I.R.C. § 170(b)(1)(B).

    58 Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal (2d ed.).

    59 Daniel C. Stockford, Property Tax Assessment of Conservation Easements, 17 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 823, 825-26 (1990).

    60 Wis. Stat. § 70.32(1g).

    61 Stockford, supra note 59, at 849.

    62 Id. at 846.

    63 Id. at 847.

    64 I.R.C. § 2031(c)(2), (c)(5).

    65 I.R.C. § 2031(c)(2).

    66 I.R.C. § 2031(c)(8)(A)(iii).

    67 I.R.C. § 2031(c)(8)(ii).

    68 I.R.C. § 2031(c)(4).

    69 I.R.C. § 1014(a)(4).

    70 I.R.C. § 2031(c)(9).

    71 Id.

    72 Wis. Stat. §§ 857.03(1), 701.19(2).

    73 Janet Diehl & Thomas S. Barrett, The Conservation Easement Handbook, at 121-25 (1988).

    74 Id.

    75 Id.

    76 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(g)(6)(i).

    77 Id.

    78 Diehl & Barrett, supra note 73, at 131.

    79 Id. at 132.

    80 Treas. Reg. § 1.170A-14(g)(6)(i).

    81 Diehl & Barrett, supra note 73, at 133.




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