Donald "Jerry" Geraci 239.410-3677
Charles King 239.470.5206
Peace River Preserve - Attributes
The federal government is in tremendous need to conserve its nation’s natural resources. Rather than taking land in the form of invasive acquisitions, the government has empowered landowners to dedicate their own land, at will, for conservation. The leading motivator behind this gift to conservancy, other than pure altruism, is a tremendous tax incentive. By donating a Conservation Easement, the landowner can realize a tax deduction up to 50% of their adjusted gross income or up to 100% of the appraised developmental value for a period of 16 years, while still maintaining ownership of the land. The land still belongs to the owner and can be used in accordance with the conservation guidelines. A Conservation Easement creates a green space for residents to enjoy, which allows greater lot prices while increasing the net benefit to the investor.
The impacts and implementation of the Federal Tax break from donating a Conservation Easement will vary with each individual’s financial situation. Consult a tax professional and an attorney for exact projections and estimated benefits. Although the federal tax incentive program is to be reviewed at the end of 2009, those who take advantage of the program will be grandfathered in to enjoy the benefits for up to 16 years. This is a wonderful opportunity to make a great profit with a piece of land while being a proponent of a sustainable future. Wetland Mitigation Bank
A Wetland Mitigation Bank is used to offset the impacts to nature caused by development. When a developer needs to impact a wetland, they can purchase wetland units from an authorized Wetland Mitigation Bank. One common purchaser of these mitigation units is the government. This site, as opposed to most mitigation banks, requires little restoration. Commonly it is costly to prepare an area to meet the standards of a Wetland Mitigation Bank, but with just a small amount of hurricane damage removal and removal of road easements, this property is ready for both conservation and Wetland Mitigation. Endangered Species Banking
The preserve is the natural habitat for many species, including: Southeastern American Kestrel, Sherman’s Fox Squirrel, Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, Limpkin, Roseate Spoonbill, American Alligator, Wood Stork, Florida Sandhill Crane, Florida Burrowing Owl, Audubon’s Crested Caracara, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Tri-Colored Heron, White Ibis, and Gopher Tortoise.
When development in Southwest Florida runs into a protected species, such as the Gopher Tortoise, Florida Panther, Wood Stork, or Caracara, they must be relocated to a registered Endangered Species Bank. In today’s market, development is slow almost everywhere but at the vanguard of resurgence in development, just as Mitigation Banking will be Endangered Species Relocation/Preservation. Before a lot can be sold or a tree removed, it must be shown that all endangered species are properly relocated to a bank such as the Peace River Preserve. When the market does rebound and development spurs again, developers in Southwest Florida will be eagerly looking for places to relocate their endangered species and the Peace River Preserve will be one of the few large preserves set up to take animals.
University Study and Participation
Allowing Universities to study the property could garner grants from water management agencies and the university. Additional areas of study should be considered, i.e., land science, engineering, biology, zoology, animal husbandry, etc. It may be possible to have the school provide plans and actually do the wetland restoration, thus further reducing costs.