A land trust is a non-governmental public charity (501c3 nonprofit) whose primary purpose is to actively work to conserve land by aquiring and managing land or through conservation easements.In the case of the Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT), our mission defines natural, agricultural, and historic land resources as appropriate for conservation.
As a public charity, PDLT represents the taxpayers. Our primary source of funding is individual members and donors – we are not dependent on government funding for operations. PDLT can accept tax-deductible donations in the form of land and interests in land, or monetary gifts. The donor may be eligible for tax benefits, and the public enjoys the benefits of protected land. It’s truly a win-win situation.
The land trust has a toolbox full of options to help landowners who are interested in conservation. Some are obvious--like buying land or accepting donations of land. Other tools include providing funds, or helping with negotiations for other groups involved in land protection. A land trust can help find and encourage conservation buyers.
PDLT focuses primarily on working with private landowners to plan their land legacy through a conservation easement (through purchase or donation). The conservation easement outlines the allowed uses and defines the development rights a landowner agrees to give up in perpeturity, even though it remains in private ownership.
Because land protection is done strictly on a voluntary basis by the landowner, the land trust's conservation efforts are non-regulatory, and do not advocate for various environmental causes. At its core, Pee Dee Land Trust is about preserving the special relationship Pee Dee residents have with their land.
Pee Dee Land Trust has reprinted an updated copy of its Landowner Easement Guide thanks to the support of Duke Energy. This valuable resource is fully updated with 2020 tax guidelines on the state and federal level. Download a copy of our Guide to Land Protection and Conservation Easements
In the Pee Dee Watershed, people love the land. Our culture is interconnected with the waters we fish and swim, the forests we hunt, and the farms and fields where we work and play. Our history has been shaped by this relationship, and our understanding of it can affect and improve our future.
We realize that once special places are gone, they’re gone. The loss of natural and historical resources has a profound impact on an area’s community, as well as on its ecology. Once changed, the land’s deeply intertwined role in a community cannot be reclaimed. The land that ties us to our history and links us to our future will be gone if we do not take purposeful action to conserve the places that make us who we are. As PDLT member and easement donor Steve Jones says, “land conservation keeps the South southern.”
Pee Dee Land Trust works diligently to preserve and grow the unique relationship between the people and the land. We strive to protect the Pee Dee’s special places so that they will be available for generations to come.
Download a copy of our Guide to Land Protection and Conservation Easements.