Valuation & Benefits


Whether landowners are donating a conservation easement to Bluegrass Land Conservancy, another qualified land conservation organization, or a governmental body, it is important to determine the value of the conservation easement for income tax purposes.

The value of a donated conservation easement is determined by comparing the value of the property before the easement and after the easement restrictions are placed on the property. Landowners must substantiate the asserted value by providing an independent appraisal which meets federal standards. In general, more restrictive agreements and intense development pressure result in higher easement values. In order to qualify for the favorable tax benefits, donated conservation easements must be permanent.


Land Trust Alliance: Using the conservation tax-incentiveBenefits

Qualified conservation easements provide landowners with several potential tax benefits including income, estate, and property tax reductions. Learn more about Using the Conservation Easement Tax Incentive.

Conservation easements permanently protect productive farmland while keeping the land in private ownership on local tax rolls.

Conservation easements are flexible, and can be tailored to meet the needs of individual landowners and unique properties. Bluegrass Land Conservancy approaches every conservation easement as its own distinct project, our priority is to best consider and address the needs specific to you, your land, and your family.



Landowner Resources

Valuation of Conservation Easement: Find a Appraiser

IRS Publications:

  • IRS Publication 526: This IRS publication explains how to claim a deduction for your charitable contributions.
  • IRS Publication 561: This IRS publication is designed to help donors and appraisers determine the value of your non-cash charitable contribution given to qualified organizations.
  • IRS Publication 1771: This IRS publication explains charitable contributions-substantiation and disclosure requirements.
  • Internal Revenue Code, Section 170(h): Qualified conservation contributions, as amended.
  • Federal Treas. Reg. 1.170A-14: Qualified conservation contributions.
  • Conservation Easement Audit Technique guide: The purpose of this IRS publication is to provide guidance for the examination of charitable contributions of conservation easements.  Users of this guide will learn about general requirements for charitable contributions and additional requirements for contributions of conservation easements.


Have questions or want to learn more?
We welcome all inquiries, contact Ashley Greathouse, (859) 255-4552, to discuss the valuation and benefits associated with protecting your land and what will work best for you and your family. All conversations are strictly confidential.


Related Info:

Places we work

Bluegrass Land Conservancy protected lands

How to protect your land

What is a conservation easement?

Other considerations

Our conservation partners


Kris and John Penn

Why I Conserved

“From a strictly economic standpoint, conservation is an excellent way to pay for expansion, infrastructure, college education, or anything that your family needs…Typically cash flow on a farm is so low relative to investment that you’re often cash poor, but conservation tax incentives really help keep more of the cash you do earn in your own pocket and farm operations.”

John Penn, Pennland
Bourbon County, 2004, 2006 & 2011

Read “Pennland Passing on Farm Skills” story

Read other Protected Land Stories