In This Issue
Send Your Updates!
Deadline Approaching

We will be released the next update to NCED in June. To incorporate new and updated easements information, we need you shapefiles by April 6th. Click here for a copy of our schema.


Submit publicly held easements to

Submit privately held easements to Ducks Unlimited.

Website Enhancements
The Add an Easement portal is now more user friendly. We hope you like this enhanced feature!
Ballot Box: Whitefish, MT
On April 28th, The City of Whitefish, MT will vote on a 1 percent resort tax increase to purchase a conservation easement in and around Haskill Basin. The easement would cover 3,000 acres and permanently protect the majority of the city's water supply, ensure permanent public access to outdoor recreation, and maintain the city's scenic backdrop and critical wildlife habitat. Read more here.
USFWS Sage Grouse Analysis
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be using NCED to conduct an analysis of the risks of land conversion to sage grouse lands. For more information please contact The Trust for Public Land.
March 2015

Since our September 2014 release, we have focused on collecting conservation easement information in seven states, most of which are in the southeast. In Alabama and Georgia alone, we received over 700 easements from land trusts. Some of these are new and some will be updates. Our next release is scheduled for June.

Please send us any new data by April 6th for inclusion in that release.

Please stay in touch regarding ways you've found NCED to be helpful in your work. 


The NCED Team

Closing the Gaps

Data collection in New England

The NCED team has begun data collection in Rhode Island. This effort will bring in at least 250 more easements that were financed through the Department of Environmental Management's open space and farmland preservation programs.

We continue to work with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture. These agencies are in the process of digitizing hundreds of easements which were funded by their respective programs.

USDA Public Comment Period

The USDA has opened the public comment period for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Interim Final Rule


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments on its interim final rule for the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack explains that "Since 2009, USDA has worked with producers and private landowners to enroll a record number of acres in conservation programs. This interim rule takes into account recommendations from the agricultural landowners and conservation stakeholders about how to better streamline and enhance conservation easement processes." The comment period is 60 days and began on February 26th. Electronic comments must be submitted through More information about ACEP and the interim final rule can be found here

Federal Tax Incentive Bill Passes House 

Must Pass Through Senate Next


On February 12, the House of Representatives voted 279-127 to make permanent the enhanced tax incentive for the donation of qualified conservation contributions. Typically these contributions are conservation easements, but a donation of an entire interest by the donor also qualifies. The incentive expired at the end of 2014, following a retroactive extension to cover donations made during the past year. The House-passed bill making the incentive permanent must now pass the Senate and be signed by the President before it becomes law.

Donors will be allowed to deduct the value of the donated property up to 50% of adjusted gross income (AGI). Qualified farmers and ranchers will be permitted to deduct up to 100% of AGI. The carryover period for the deduction of conservation contributions will be 15 years. Without this incentive, a limit of 30% of AGI would apply to gifts of appreciated property with a five-year carryover period.


The National Conservation Easement Database |

The National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) is an initiative of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. Additional financial support has been provided by the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the  Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; the Knobloch Family Foundation; the Graham Foundation; the USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry; and theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The NCED team also collaborates with the USGS National Gap Analysis Program (GAP) Protected Areas Database - United States (PAD-US) on data acquisition and standards.