Monday, March 16, 2009

The Piedmont Environmental Council -- A Resource for Landowners

The Piedmont Environmental Council, or PEC, is a valuable resource for property owners who are considering donating a conservation easement.

The PEC's website is located here.

Focusing its work on the City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock, the PEC defines its mission as "safeguarding the landscapes, communities and heritage of the Piedmont by involving citizens in related public policy and land conservation."

One of several areas of focus for the PEC is to educate the public about land conservation and preservation efforts. A number of staff members (their contact information is listed here) are available to discuss conservation -- including easements -- and to answer questions.

Recently the PEC posted a series of annual updates about conservation efforts in central Virginia, including updates for Albemarle, Greene, Madison and Orange Counties:
  • "Approximately 3,000 Acres Conserved in Albemarle County in 2008" - click here for the report
  • "193 Acres Conserved in Greene County for 2008" - click here
  • "584 Acres Conserved in Madison County for 2008" - click here
  • "2,474 Acres Conserved in Orange County for 2008" - click here

We recommend that anyone considering a conservation easement donation gather as much information as possible and talk through the ramifications of an easement with their tax advisor and their attorney. For those in central Virginia, the PEC is a great place to start this information-gathering process.