Glossary of Terms

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Glossary of Terms


The value given in a report prepared by a professional appraiser that provides an estimate on the fair market value of the property or conservation easement. A “qualified” appraisal is one prepared to substantiate the value of a donated property or easement, and meets Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements.

Bargain Sale

The sale of a property or easement to a qualified organization for an amount less than the appraised fair market value.

Conservation Easement

A legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization that restricts future activities on the land to protect its conservation values.

Conservation Easement Value

The difference in appraised value between the property without a conservation easement (the “before” value) and the same property with a conservation easement (the “after” value). The value is on land only, not residences and structures.

Fair Market Value

In real estate, the price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a property offered for sale on the open market, when both have reasonable knowledge of all relevant facts and are not under undue pressure to buy or sell.


The inspection of an easement property to check for compliance with the conservation easement terms. Conserved properties are visited on a regular basis, at least annually.

Purchase of Development Rights (PDR)

The purchase of land use rights in the form of a conservation easement.


All the activities performed by the land trust to ensure that its obligations as easement holder are upheld. Some examples include monitoring conserved properties, assisting easement landowners with questions, handling notice and approval requests by landowners, enforcing the terms of the easement, building landowner relationships, and meeting with new owners who purchase conserved lands.


A property that is donated in fee simple to the land trust. Depending on the conservation attributes of the property and other factors, it may be held by the land trust, sold subject to a conservation easement, or sold with no conservation easement. If sold, the funds are used by the land trust to further its mission.

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