Families in Sheridan County can now find it a little easier to conserve their land thanks to Sheridan Community Land Trust’s new Conservation Revolving Fund, which can cover the upfront costs associated with a conservation easement.

“Usually, a donation to a nonprofit is free. But for conservation easements, significant costs can be involved,” said SCLT Conservation Director Meghan Kent. “As an accredited land trust, SCLT must ensure that any conservation easement it accepts is viable and provides public benefit. For many families, this cost can be a barrier. The revolving fund removes this barrier by allowing SCLT to front the costs for families who would like to ensure their land will stay as open space forever by donating a conservation easement.”

SCLT’s Conservation Revolving Fund was created, Kent added, thanks to a generous gift from a community friend who values conservation and understands the challenges that families who choose to conserve their land face.

Before the creation of the Conservation Revolving Fund, SCLT could not assist families with the costs of donating a conservation easement. Kent stated they would “have to carry the full financial burden themselves.”

Many families may be interested in a conservation easement, whether to simplify passing land from one generation to another, preserve the character of their ranch, or ensure the work they’ve put into their land will never be lost to development. But, the financials of placing a conservation easement on their property wouldn’t pencil out. This fund removes financials from the equation and allows any family of any income to protect their lands,” Kent concluded.

The SCLT Conservation Revolving Fund is open to any donated conservation easement that meets the organization’s priorities. It allows Kent to work with up to five families on donated conservation easements at a time.

If you are interested in conserving your family’s land, please email SCLT Conservation Director Meghan Kent at [email protected] or call the SCLT office at (307) 673-4702. You can learn more about conservation easements at https://sheridanclt.org/land/conservation/.