Conservation Easement Properties

The Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust serves seven counties in Southeastern Idaho: Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power.

Click on the interactive map to see conservation easements in our five priority areas:

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and the Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust to limit development on a property to conserve the natural and traditional values of the landscape, while retaining the right of private ownership. Conservation easements are recorded in the county records and follow the property deed, thus ensuring the land is protected in perpetuity.

To qualify for consideration, lands must have significant value in one or more of the following:

  • Wetlands, floodplains, and riparian habitats
  • Productive farms and ranches
  • Important wildlife habitat and migratory routes
  • Recognized historic value
  • Valuable open space in proximity to developing areas
  • Educational or recreational access opportunities

Conservation easements can be acquired via:

  1. Bargain Sale – Conservation easements can be partially sold and partially donated in what is termed a bargain sale. A bargain sale occurs when a landowner decides to sell a conservation easement to the Land Trust below the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement.
  2. Donation – If a conservation easement is voluntarily donated to a land trust or government agency, and if it benefits the public by permanently protecting important conservation resources, it may qualify as a charitable tax deduction on the donor’s federal income tax return. First enacted temporarily in 2006, the tax incentive was made permanent in 2015 and increases the benefits to landowner by:
  • Raising the deduction, a donor can take for donating a conservation easement to 50%, from 30%, of his or her annual income;
  • Extending the carry-forward period for a donor to take a tax deduction for a conservation agreement to 15 years from 5 years; and
  • Allowing qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income, increased from 50%.
  1. Purchase – In some situations, the Land Trust will purchase a conservation easement at the full easement value. 

In all cases, financial value of a conservation easement is established through a specialized appraisal. SSLT does not provide legal or financial advice and encourages landowners to explore options with their financial and legal advisors for guidance on how to structure a conservation easement transaction. 


Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust Logo

Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization incorporated in 2004, and a “qualified organization” within the meaning of section 170(h)(3) of the IRS Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 82-6092501

Photographs throughout this website were donated by Sarah Jackson and various other Land Trust supporters over the years.


Contact us

109 N Arthur Ave, Suite 300
Spaulding Building
Pocatello, ID 83204

Mailing Address
PO Box 1404
Pocatello ID 83204

Office: (208) 240-6045
Field Cell: (208) 241-4662