21. Land Conservation Easements: A Tax Strategy That Can Save You Thousands

In this episode, we’re joined by Jim Sullivan, a land conservation expert, to discuss a lucrative tax strategy called Land Conservation Easements that can save high-income earners thousands in taxes.

To learn more about Land Conservation Easements visit foreverforests.net or contact Jim directly at [email protected].

About Thomas Castelli

Thomas Castelli is a Tax Strategist and real estate investor, who helps other real estate investors keep more of their hard-earned dollars in their pockets and out of the government's.


  1. dave on October 30, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Mr. Sullivan,

    Thanks for your appearance on the real estate CPA podcast! This is something that I had never heard of and am happy to learn about.

    Just to set the stage on my interest…
    I have some retirement property in Eastern WA which has a great view of a forested hillside. It is my desire to assure that the hillside stays forested so I don’t, someday, have a view of someone’s house. As of right now, this hillside belongs to several other people in 20-acres lots. I am considering buying this land to preserve it and love the idea of offsetting the money I spend on the land with a tax savings off my normal income.

    After listening to your interview this morning (and reading your website), creating a conservation easement may be the win-win I am looking for. I have a few questions:

    1. How does someone find out if there are already existing conservation easements on a given land tract? Is there some simple way to look this up?

    2. Several places on your website mention that conservation can include “agriculture use”. Here in WA state, timber is a huge part of our ag industry. Would a piece of property under this still have the possibility to be clear cut (and replanted) as part of a tree farming operation? Is allowing/disallowing this an option written into the terms of the easement?

    3. One of the “success stories” on your website says that the owner “improved it with a family compound, trails, and dock access to the lake, all of which were allowed under the terms of the easement.” I don’t understand how this would still count as conservation if development would be allowed. Is there some threshold as to what is and is not considered “conserved”?

    4. Despite the word “forever” in your business name, I have found that few things in this world are truly irreversible. If someone wanted to remove this easement, how do they go about doing so? (I am assuming there would be some large penalty or an exchange for other land of greater value or something.)

    Thanks for your input!


    • recpanew on November 5, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      Dave – awesome questions. I know you said in another comment that you were going to email Jim directly. If he answers your questions, please re-post them here as we’d love our podcast listeners to gain more insight!

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