Conservation options

Habitats we protect

The Mud Creek Conservancy accepts both conservation easements as well as outright donations of land. Parcels of interest must be located within the Mud Creek watershed in either Hamilton, Marion or Madison Counties.

Conservation easements

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between the Mud Creek Conservancy and the property owner transferring development rights on the property to the Conservancy. The donor retains ownership of the property, but abides by the restrictions detailed in the easement. Conservancy members, in conjunction with the donor, perform an annual inspection of the property covered by the easement. A conservation easement is created in perpetuity, and remains in effect even if the property changes ownership.

A federal income tax deduction can be taken by a donor for the difference between the unrestricted and restricted values of the land as determined by a before and after appraisal. An easement can be custom tailored to the needs of the property owner and may allow for continued recreational or other low impact uses of the property, such as farming. In general, the more restrictive the easement, the greater the tax deduction that can be claimed. It is the property owners responsibility to obtain the restricted/unrestricted appraisals if an income tax deduction is desired.

An additional benefit from donating a conservation easement is the resulting decrease in the inheritance tax that must be paid by the property owners heirs once they inherit the property.

Other land protection options

An outright donation of property to the Mud Creek Conservancy allows the donor to deduct the value of the property from their federal income taxes as a charitable contribution.