Land Donations and Easements
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
- Aldo Leopold
The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy gratefully considers all land donations, and we are humbled by those who seek our help in preserving their land for future generations. If you would like to discuss a property donation or establish an easement on your property, please contact
John Jablonski III, Special Projects Coordinator
When deciding whether you are interested in donating your land, please consider the following:
Our properties are operated as publicly accessible nature preserves so a donor should be comfortable with the general public accessing any properties that have been donated to us.
We cannot accept donations that have existing environmental concerns, such as dumping or chemical contamination.
We cannot accept donations of land free of charge. Each of our properties must have a formal boundary survey, title search, appraisal, and contribution to an endowment fund for perpetual management. Some properties will need a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment as well, depending on past land use. These costs add up and must be budgeted for before we can accept the land donation.
All land donations are carefully considered by the our staff, conservation committee, and board of directors. When an offer of a land donation is made, we first conduct a preliminary biological investigation to assess ecological value and overall fit with our mission and conservation priorities. Findings are reported to the conservation committee, who then makes a recommendation to our board, which officially accepts or rejects the project.
Land donations require a number of steps and careful consideration by all parties. Try to keep your expectations realistic, and do not base any immediate needs on ensuring that a potential donation closes in a constrained time frame.