Conservation Easement Assistance Program

Loudoun County’s Conservation Easement Assistance Program was launched in 2019 to help landowners with the upfront costs of placing land under conservation easement. 

  • A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values, such as sensitive environmental, cultural or historical characteristics.
  • Easements allow landowners to continue to own and use their land, and they can also sell it or pass it on to heirs. The limits of the conservation easement ‘run with the land,’ meaning that even if the land is inherited or sold, the restrictions stay in place.
  • The program provides up to $15,000, or half of the upfront costs of placing land under conservation easement, to land trusts representing qualifying landowners in Loudoun County. The funds will be applied to the landowner’s easement process.
  • Landowners interested in learning more about placing their land under a conservation easement should contact a land trust. If the land trust agrees, the land trust will apply on behalf of the landowner.
  • Contact one of these land trusts for more information: 

Qualifying Services

Program funding can cover:

  • Attorney’s fees
  • Land appraisal and survey fees
  • Processing and document fees
  • Stewardship costs

Application Periods

  • The online application process is available on a rolling basis throughout the year. A land trust can apply for the program on behalf of a landowner at any time.
  • A total of $150,000 in funding will be available annually and will be distributed to applicants who meet the funding criteria.
  • Funds will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The application form and accompanying documentation will be accepted from land trusts any time throughout the year.

Questions?

Email for more information or call 703-771-5778.

Download the Conservation Easement Assistance Program flyer (PDF).

  1. Eligibility Requirements
  2. How to Apply
  3. Award Process

Landowner Requirements

Landowners must:

  • have a gross household income that does not exceed 115% of the Area Median Income (as of January 2020, $139,495).
  • have property that meets the land requirements below.
  • be working with an organization that meets the land trust requirements (see below) and will submit the application on behalf of the landowner.

Note: The program is limited to “natural” persons, trusts whose beneficiaries are all “natural” persons, and limited liability companies (LLCs) whose members are all “natural” persons. Trusts that have any beneficiaries, or LLCs that have any members that are trusts, LLCs or other entities do not qualify for the program. If title to the property is held in trust, eligibility shall be based on the combined Virginia adjusted gross income of the trust beneficiaries. If title to the property is held by an LLC, eligibility shall be based on the combined Virginia adjusted gross income of the LLC members. The property owner may be required to provide additional information requested by the County to confirm the identify of the actual trust beneficiaries and LLC members, as applicable and the Virginia adjusted gross income of such persons. The property owner shall be responsible for demonstrating compliance with the eligibility requirements.

Land Requirements

The property must:

The property must not:

Land Trust Requirements

Landowners must be working with a qualifying land trust to be eligible.

The land trust:

  • must be the conservation easement “Holder” as defined by Virginia Code § 10.1-1009 et seq. 
  • must apply to the Conservation Easement Assistance Program on behalf of the landowners (individual landowners cannot submit applications).
  • may be located anywhere (the land must be located in Loudoun County).