Direct land conservation is achieved by the Indian River Land Trust through two primary means - fee simple acquisition (outright purchase) and conservation easements (removal of development rights). Below is a simple explanation of each.
Fee Simple Acquisition - The Indian River Land Trust considers acquisition an important process to preserve important conservation lands to protect our ecosystems, wildlife habitat, wetlands, hammocks, coastal areas, historical sites and food production lands. The Indian River Land Trust acquires land through gift (donation) or purchase, usually at a reduced sale price and almost always with the aid of government grants or a special fundraising campaign. Land that IRLT helps to acquire is managed in perpetuity for public use and enjoyment.
Conservation Easements - The Indian River Land Trust accepts conservation easements on land. As a legal tool, a conservation easement allows landowners to retain ownership and management responsibilities for their land, but requires that they (and all future owners) observe certain prohibitions and limitations on development and use in order to protect the land's conservation values. Landowners may sell or lease the land, but the easement placed on the property remains in perpetuity. As holder of a conservation easement, the Indian River Land Trust is responsible for monitoring and legally enforcing the terms of the easement. The donation of an easement may result in a charitable deduction for federal income and other tax purposes.