Property must meet certain criteria to be eligible to receive the tax benefits and financial incentives associated with conservation easements. These criteria are outlined below and divided out between legal requirements and organizational requirements.

Legal Requirements

The property must possess one or more of the following elements to be considered eligible for a conservation easement that will generate federal and state tax benefits:

  • Relatively natural habitat for fish, wildlife, or plants;
  • Open space (including farmland or forest land); and/or
  • Historically important areas or certified historic structures.
Organizational Requirements

CCALT is a statewide conservation organization dedicated to the conservation of working agricultural lands. To ensure that we continue to advance our organizational mission and remain focused on our core competencies, the CCALT Board of Directors has established certain criteria that the CCALT staff uses to evaluate the eligibility of conservation projects. These criteria are essentially the minimum standards a property has to meet for CCALT to consider working with the landowner on a conservation easement project. The criteria are outlined below.

  • The property must be agriculturally productive and possess the ability to support and maintain viable agricultural operations such as, (1) raising livestock; (2) dry land farming; and/or (3) irrigated farming.
  • The property must be part of a working agricultural operation at the time of consideration.
  • The property must meet the following acreage requirements:
  • Southeast and Far East Region: 1200 dryland acres or 160 irrigated acres
  • Northeast Region: 640 dryland acres or 160 irrigated acres
  • Foothills Region: 350 dryland acres or 100 irrigated acres
  • Western Slope, Central Mountains, and San Luis Valley Region: 640 dryland acres or 145 irrigated acres.
  • Click here to see a map of CCALT minimum acreage standards
  • Note- Irrigated acres are defined as land that has adjudicated water rights that are beneficially applied and contribute to the agricultural operation. Dryland acres are defined as land that does not meet the criteria for irrigated lands. The determination for irrigated or dryland will be made in CCALT Staff’s discretion. 

For more information on any of these requirements, please contact us.