Conservation Easement Assistance Program

The Conservation Easement Assistance Program provides financial assistance to Loudoun County landowners in placing their property under a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement in which a landowner retains ownership, use, and enjoyment of their property while they convey certain rights to a qualified land trust to protect farms, forested areas, historic sites, and natural resources.

The assistance program reimburses up to $25,000 in qualifying expenses. County landowners work with a qualified land trust in placing their property under a conservation easement. The land trust submits an application to the assistance program on the landowner’s behalf.

If you are interested in learning more about placing your land in a conservation easement, you may contact one of the following land trusts:

Qualifying Expenses

The assistance program reimburses up to $25,000 for qualified expenses including:

  • 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 assistance program 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

A landowner must:

  • have an adjusted gross income (AGI) below $155,938. If the property is owned by more than one person, the income of each owner must be below the limit.
  • own land in Loudon County that also meets the assistance program’s requirements (see below).
  • work with a qualified land trust.

Limited Liability Company’s (LLC) and Land Trusts

If the property is owned by a  family LLC or a family trust, as defined by the assistance program, the following applies: 

  • All beneficiaries of the family trust or members of the LLC, as applicable, must be natural persons and be related by blood, adoption or marriage.
  • The adjusted gross income of each member or beneficiary, as applicable, must be below $ 155,938. However, the highest adjusted income of one member/beneficiary shall be excluded.

Applicants must provide verification of income eligibility to qualify for the assistance program.

Land Requirements

The property:

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). 

Note: A conservation easement may result in certain tax benefits. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting professional to understand any tax implications.