Wood River Land Trust LTA Standard 8: Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects

8D: Public Benefit

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Practice 8D: Wood River Land Trust is obligated to uphold the public trust in its conservation activities and to ensure that all projects provide significant public benefit. The public benefit of every fee simple land and conservation easement transaction must be documented, as well as how the benefits are consistent with the Land Trust’s mission (Appendix 8B.1 Project Selection Checklist). All conservation easements and baseline document reports must describe the public benefit of easement transactions. For noneasement projects, the staff report must document the public benefit served by the transaction. All projects that the Wood River Land Trust is involved in must conform to applicable federal and state charitable trust laws. If the transaction involves public purchase or tax incentive programs, the Land Trust must satisfy any additional federal, state or local requirements for public benefit. The IRS’s “conservation purposes” test can be used as a guide to test the public benefit of easements and fee simple acquisitions alike, tax deductible or not. In effect, these criteria define conservation values that are considered to be in the national interest (and thus their protection is worthy of federal tax benefits). These criteria are outlined in Practice 8C: Federal and State Requirements and reflected in the Project Selection Checklist.

Standard 8 - Public Benefit / Page 1 of 1 / Approved by the Board November 27, 2007

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