Landowners in the Savannah River Basin can help protect the river that so many people depend on. There are many resources available to landowners interested in improving their land or protecting their land with a conservation easement.
A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land to protect its conservation values. Landowners retain many of their rights, including their right to practice forestry, right to own and manage the land, sell it, and pass it on to their heirs, and to limit or allow public access. Conservation easements can be tailored to meet the landowners’ financial and personal goals while also protecting the land. Donated conservation easements may also qualify a landowner for certain tax benefits.
The Longleaf Alliance has partnered with the Savannah River Clean Water Fund to provide landowner assistance. If you are a landowner in the Lower Savannah River Basin and would like to learn more about financial and technical assistance available to landowners, contact Lisa Lord for more information.
Lower Savannah River
Land Trust Grant Program
The mission of the Savannah River Clean Water Fund (SRCWF) is to protect the water supply for communities and businesses along the Savannah River in Georgia and South Carolina. A primary objective of the SRCWF is to increase permanent forest conservation though conservation easements and fee simple acquisition. The SRCWF works closely with its utility and corporate partners to identity and facilitate land protection projects and provide funding if projects meet certain criteria. Since 2019, the SRCWF has participated in three land protection projects in the watershed, protecting over 14,000 acres to date.
To accelerate the SRCWF’s strategic goal of maintaining at least 60% of the basin in forest cover, the SRCWF is launching the Lower Savannah River Land Trust Grant Program to provide small grants of up to $5000 to South Carolina, Georgia, or regional land trusts and natural resource agencies for due diligence (appraisals, title work, and attorney’s fees and/or land trust personnel costs) associated with completing a land protection project in the Basin.
- Land Trusts and natural resource agencies may apply for up to $5,000 for land conservation project expenses and/or personnel costs.
- Donated, purchased, or bargain sale easements or fee simple projects in the Lower Basin are eligible.
- Land trusts should incorporate the SRCWF Conservation Easement Standards into the conservation easement deed.
- There is no deadline for applying. Applications will be received and evaluated continuously.
- Projects should benefit water quality in the lower Savannah River basin.
- Land trusts are encouraged to reach out to Lisa Lord prior to applying for funding.