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Conservation Easements are a trap, think twice, then run!

In Agenda 21, Farmers on May 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Property grab any way you look at is still a property grab! Bradley County is being inundated by these conservation easements by many Land Trusts in our area.

Think twice, then run in the other direction when someone dangles the bait out in front of you like a carrot! This is bad mojo and is just another of the attempts by our federal government to take your property and your rights to this property!

When you theoretically sign your property over to this land trust company in perpetuity (forever) your property is essentially of no value to anyone except the true owners of your property, the land trust and the federal government if they decide that property is valuable to them and they want it!

You can’t even water your lawn without their ok or plant flowers or ride your jeep around on the property! Your adjoining neighbor could actually violate the terms of your conservation agreement and you would be held liable! You still pay all the bills such as property taxes, upkeep and repair but you are no longer the owner. You have become a serf on your own property and are now going to be there forever for generations to come. You have just passed slavery to every generation in your future. They will tell you it still belongs to you and that you still have all the rights, well that is not completely true!

Yes, you can tweak the contract and say for example, I want to put a flower garden down by the lake and this info will get passed to the powers that be and if you are lucky you may get to do that. But the property is no longer yours. You are now indebted for the rest of your life to the land trust and the federal government. Not and enviable position to be in.

So What Is Left Of Your
Property Rights?

Conservation Easements Are a Trap

Activities on or use of the property not
consistent with the purpose of the easement are
prohibited under a conservation easement
agreement. The following are some examples of
prohibited activities:

.
1. No soil, trash, liquid or solid waste,
hazardous materials, or pollutants defined by
federal or state law shall be dumped or placed
on the property;
.
2. Activities or uses that will be detrimental
to drainage, flood control, water conservation,
erosion control, soil conservation, or fish and
wildlife habitat conservation;
.
3. Activities or uses detrimental to the
structural integrity or physical appearance of
any portions of the property having historical,
archaeological or cultural significance;
.
4. Planting of invasive exotic plants listed by
the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, and the
grantor shall control invasive exotic plants
on the property; (Forever at the owner’s or
their heir’s expense regardless of cause or
situation.)
.
5. Commercial or industrial activity, or
ingress or egress across or upon the property in
conjunction with any commercial or industrial
activity, except as may be required for the
exercise of the grantor’s reserved rights;
.
6. New construction or placing of buildings,
mobile homes, signs, billboards or other
structures on the property;
.
7. Creation of new roads or jeep trails;
.
8. No more intense agricultural use of the
property than currently exists on the property, if
any, and no conversion of non-agricultural areas
to agricultural use;
.
9. Activities that adversely impact threatened
or endangered species;
.
10. Any subdivision of the land.”3
(All of the above-as interpreted by the
easement holder or anyone, or any group who
purchases said easement in the future.)

1. The right to observe, maintain,
photograph, fish, hunt, introduce and stock
native fish or wildlife on the property, to use
the property for non-commercial hiking,
camping, and horseback riding, in compliance
with federal, state and local laws concerning
such activities;
2. The right to conduct prescribed burning on
the property, provided that the grantor obtain
and comply with the appropriate
authorization from the regulatory agency
having jurisdiction over this activity;
3. The right to harvest timber or other forest
products in accordance with an approved
forest management plan;
4. The right to mortgage the property;
(Common sense dictates that a parcel of land
with clouded property rights is worthless.)
5. The right to use, maintain, repair, and
reconstruct, but not relocate or enlarge, all
existing structures, fences, roads, ponds,
drainage ditches and other facilities on the
property.
As you can see, the terms of these
easements are intentionally written in a very
vague way, subject to interpretation by the
easement holder or the courts.
But the responsibility and expense to maintain
the property as the easement holder demands is
very specific and is “forever.”

The land owners and their heirs, become
mere surfs, slaves to their own property and
subject to the wishes of the easement holder-
they are caught in the Conservation Easement
Trap.

Don’t Let This Happen To YOU!

1. http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/wq/lpn/uniform.htm
2. Old Lyme, Connecticut http://www.oldlymect.
gov/Pages/OldLymeCT_BComm/Easement%20Monitoring-OL.pdf
3. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR149
Presented by the Alliance for Citizens Rights
http://www.alabamapropertyrights.org -www.keepourrights.org

As you read this, hundreds of
well meaning land owners are losing
their homes, their land, and their
children’s inheritance because they
fell for the false promises made to
them by government agencies and
environmental groups. Thousands
more face a similar fate!

Most of these endangered
property owners believed that they
were preserving their land for future
generations. Some believed it was a
way to help their children survive in
the farming or ranching business by
getting badly needed operating cash
in these troubled times.

All loved their land and their
way of life and dreamed of saving
them both from destruction. But now
their land and their dreams are
being brutally taken from them.

They are caught in the
“Conservation Easement
Trap.”

Those who believe that they will be
allowed to continue living on the land or
get a tax write-off or a “tax credit” (which
they can sell to others to generate cash)
are easy targets for this massive, well
planned land grab scheme. This scheme is
designed to steal the rights to your land,
deprive you of its use, and eventually
transfer title to either a government agency
or an environmental group.

As an example: In Colorado right now
hundreds of land owners who used an
easement plan sanctioned by both the
state and Federal governments, are being
threatened with losing everything they own.

You see, once the state of Colorado
realized how much revenue they would
lose because of these land trusts, they
found a way to back out of the deal. When
Colorado backed out, this gave the IRS an
excuse to disallow all tax deductions given
to land owners and also disallow all tax
credits sold on these easements.

The taxes, penalties, and fines
accessed by the IRS amount to more than
the present value of the land. Plus,
individuals who bought “tax credits” from
the land owners are suing to recover their
losses.

With title to the land so clouded, no
individual will buy it, no bank will loan on it,
and it has no economic value to anyone
except the government or the
environmental group who hold the
easement. The IRS will either take the land
or sell it at auction to satisfy the tax debt.

By law, the title holder CANNOT have a
conservation easement on his own land.
Therefore, should the easement holder
also gain title to the land-the easement
automatically goes away!

In the end, the land owners will have lost
everything and the easement holder will
have gained clear, un-encumbered title to
this very valuable property.

The Uniform Conservation Act was created
in 1981 and recommended for use by all states
by the National Conference of Commissioners
on Uniform State Laws.

A conservation easement is an encumbrance sometimes including a transfer of usage rights (easement) — which creates a legally
enforceable land preservation agreement
between a landowner and a government agency
(municipality, county, state, federal) or a
qualified land protection organization (often
called a “land trust”), for the purposes of
conservation. It restricts real estate
development, commercial and industrial uses,
and certain other activities on a property to a
mutually agreed upon level. The property
remains the private property of the landowner.
The decision to place a conservation
easement on a property is strictly a voluntary
one where the easement is sold or donated. The
restrictions of the easement, once set in place,
“run with the land” and are binding on all future
owners of the property (in other words, the
restrictions are perpetual). The restrictions are
spelled out in a legal document that is recorded
in the local land records and the easement
becomes a part of the chain of title for the
property. Thus, a potential buyer of the
property would limit his offer to the value of the
few remaining property rights.

Violations

The following is common policy for
governments (local & state) that enacted the
model Conservation Easement Act:

“An easement violation may be
discovered through a visit or by
casual observation or reported by a
third party. The violation may have
been caused by the property owner, an
adjacent property owner or a third
party trespasser.”

(Consider carefully the last sentence – an
action by a neighbor or a trespasser could be
declared a “violation” with you as the
responsible party.)
Serious violations, the policy concludes,
prohibit construction or subdivision, (dividing
your property i.e. to give a lot to a child)
excavation, and timbering without an approved
forest management plan. All of the forgoing
“require a swift and definitive response.”
Rights Granted to the Grantee (easement
holder) MAY include but is not limited to the
following”
“1.The right to preserve and protect the
conservation values of the property;
2. The right to enter the property at reasonable
times in order to monitor compliance with the
agreement;
3. The right to prevent any activity on or use of
the property that is not consistent with the
purpose or provisions of the easement and to
require the restoration of areas or features of
the property that may be damaged by
inconsistent activity or use at the grantor’s
(owner’s) cost;
4.The right of first refusal to purchase the
property in fee if the grantor proposes to sell
the property to a third party other than a lineal
descendant, and the right to purchase the
property from the estate or trust of the grantor
(void if easement is a charitable donation for no
consideration);
5. The right to be indemnified by grantor for
any and all liability, loss, damage, expense,
judgment or claim arising out of any
negligence, willful action or activity resulting
from the grantor’s use of the property or use of
the property by the grantor’s agents, guests,
lessees, or invitees.”3 (The easement holder has
no liability, it all falls on the property owner.)

Source of info: Bear Witness Central, visit the blog site, very interesting and informative!

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  1. Thanks Donny. Great article. People must understand no one is going to GIVE you anything except the shaft. The goal of these Land Trust companies is to get control of as much land as possible. The land is generally targeted by the government. The government wants it and they send out their cronies to get it. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS to your land for any reason or any amount of money. If you don’t want your land used for commercial purposes then put it in your will. Do not fall for the tax breaks or anything else they have to say. They can change the conditions of the original agreement whenever they want. They can sell your trust to the government and then the government totally re-writes the conditions. DO NOT HAND YOUR LAND OVER TO ANYONE EXCEPT YOUR FAMILY. Land is our blood. It is our source of freedom and independence. It allows us to gain wealth. Give away your land rights for money and you are giving away your freedom and the freedom of your future heirs.

    Like

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