Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell has a national reputation, thanks to more than 40 years of experience counseling clients, for excellence in conservation easements and a wide array of land conservation law. We have represented landowners and land trusts in hundreds of conservation easement transactions and routinely work with landowners who are buying or selling rural recreational properties and other special landscapes. Additionally, we advise conservation organizations, as well as federal, state, county and municipal wildlife and open space agencies, and serve as counsel to many national, state, and local land trusts.
Conservation easements are an essential part of the land use lawyer’s toolbox. They enable clients to meet land preservation and open space goals, and to be eligible for tax benefits such as marketable tax credits in some states. We counsel clients on the use of conservation easements in many situations, including as a component to facilitate multi-party land exchanges and to close real estate transactions with both preservation and development aspects. Owners of land under conservation easement, particularly working ranches, turn to us for assistance in maintaining the preserved lands intact from competing land uses and assertions of conflicting rights, such as oil and gas development and other access issues.
We have been involved in countless conservation easement transactions that have resulted in the protection of hundreds of thousands of acres. Our experience extends to service on the board of directors of the Land Trust Alliance and as counsel to state and local trust coalitions, state and local land trusts, and even as founding counsel to the country’s first producer-based agricultural land trusts.
Our lawyers have experience with conservation easement-related legislation and have authored legislation pertaining to conservation easements and property tax, conservation easements and water rights, and state tax credits. We also represent taxpayers in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities pertaining to conservation easements and assist landowners and conservation easement holders in interpreting amendments, as well as assessing and resolving violations of conservation easements.