Douglas County landowner, Lois Hamilton, has donated a conservation easement to preserve 276 acres of prime farmland between Lawrence and Eudora.
The easement protects the farmland from development and also conserves a wooded riparian area along the Kansas River from future development.
The River is an important source of recreation and drinking water for Many Kansans, but protecting it is not the only water that is affected by the easement. The Hamilton property is also the land upon which the groundwater wells that provide drinking water for the City of Eudora are located.
The Kansas Land Trust, formed in 1990, is a legally recognized non-profit corporation in the business of land protection. It accepts only conservation easements granted in perpetuity and is committed to upholding the terms of the easement, forever.
While any landowner may attach conservation restrictions to a property title before transferring it, an owner who donates a conservation easement to the Kansas Land Trust can be assured that compliance with the identified protective goals will be strictly enforced.
The easement property will be monitored regularly by KLT specialists. And, future owners cannot alter the land contrary to the owner's originally specified wishes—wishes that carry into the future.
Other KLT opportunities
The Kansas Land Trust offers a variety of ways for landowners to protect their property, including easements such as the one donated by Hamilton. Owners can also donate their land to the organization of sell it in a "bargain sale" to transfer the responsibility of protecting it to KLT.
Participating land owners can significantly lower their income and estate taxes, and in some cases can even reduce local taxes.
The conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and an organization such as the Kansas Land Trust, that permanently restricts what kind of development and now much development can take place on the property. The ownership of the property remains with the original landowners and can be passed to heirs or sold to new owners.
However, any future owner is bound by the restrictions of the easement agreement which assures that the landowner's wishes for his property are upheld.