• glass recycling

    Recycling Matters

    As of January 1, 2023, the Town of Oyster Bay has reinstated its glass recycling program after a four-year hiatus. Oyster Bay joins the towns of North Hempstead, Huntington, Hempstead, Islip, Babylon, Smithtown and others across the island in recycling this highly used material. Why is Recycling Important? Americans dispose of some 10M metric tons of glass annually, with an astounding two-thirds of it ending up in landfills. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. It is an easy step that we can all take to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. And we know less land dedicated to landfills means more land for wildlife. And that is something we can all agree is in short supply these days. We applaud the Town of Oyster Bay for reinstating its glass recycling program and encourage you all to recycle your glass jars and bottles with your recycling each week. Why waste precious land for landfills when we can recycle, renew and reuse. Just this simple step will make a world of difference for our environment!

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  • Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act Signed Into Law

    When landowners choose to conserve their land there are several different ways to achieve that end. One important tool is a conservation easement, a voluntary, perpetual agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization, such as the Land Alliance, that restricts the use of the land to protect its conservation values. Since 1979, donations of qualified conservation easements have been eligible for federal tax deductions. To date, according to the National Conservation Easement Database, over 201,525 easements have been donated protecting 33,527,688 acres of land. Unfortunately, there has been some abuse of these tax deductions. In rare, but harmful, instances, appraisals have been inflated in transactions known as “syndications”. These abuses have jeopardized the integrity of conservation easements and the tax incentive that has helped thousands of Americans voluntarily conserve millions of acres of their own land. Now the syndications will be halted thanks to the federal spending bill signed into law by the President on December 29, 2022. Included in the law was the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act, targeted legislation that will protect conservation easements into the future. If you are interested in learning more about conservation easements, please contact Andrew Geisel at [email protected] or 516-922-1028.

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  • Historic Humes Tavern House

    Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation Grant for the Historic Tavern House

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact Debra Wiener, Director of Development Email: [email protected] or 516-922-1028 Oyster Bay, New York | The North Shore Land Alliance is honored to have been awarded a grant through the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation for the adaptive reuse of the Tavern House at the Humes Preserve. This historic structure on Oyster Bay Road in Mill Neck will become the Land Alliance’s new headquarters. The unassuming, wood-framed Tavern House has been a part of Long Island history since the mid-18th century. Over several centuries, this property passed through multiple owners serving as a tavern or inn, farmhand quarters, guest cottage and summer home for Ambassador John P. Humes and his family. The Land Alliance acquired the 28-acre property in 2015. The land was purchased for conservation purposes and is now open to the public. With the conservation of the Humes property, we have created a 150-acre conservation corridor in the most biodiverse area in Nassau County. The Tavern House within the Humes Preserve will serve as the Land Alliance’s first permanent headquarters. The 4,000 sq ft building will include offices, meeting spaces, room for small-group educational programming, and environmentally-friendly septic and geothermal heating systems. While the structure’s interior will be modernized, the Land Alliance has made great efforts to preserve the building’s original features. “The move will better connect the lands we have conserved for public purposes to the people and the organization who made their permanent protection possible,” said Lisa Ott, President and CEO of the Land Alliance. “Through this project, we can preserve an important piece of Long Island’s story. The Tavern House has borne witness to hundreds of years of growth. It is an important part of Long Island’s history. With this grant, we are proud that we have ensured that it will be an integral part of Long Island’s future as well”, states Kathryn Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Thanks to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s generosity, the adaptive reuse of the historic Tavern House at the Humes Preserve will be possible. “The Land Alliance is grateful for The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s efforts to preserve Long Island history,” said Lisa Ott. “We are so grateful for the strategic funding they have provided to our organization and so many worthy projects across Long Island.” The Land Alliance’s new headquarters are set to open in February 2023. Established in 1987, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation primarily supports the study of New York State history. Until his death in August 2004, Robert David Lion Gardiner was the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, NY. The Gardiner family and their descendants have owned Gardiner’s Island since 1639, obtained as part of a royal grant from King Charles I of England. The Foundation is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history. For more information, please visit rdlfoundation.org. The North Shore Land Alliance, Inc. is a nationally accredited nonprofit land trust founded in 2003 that works to conserve and steward Long Island’s natural and historic lands, waters and environmental resources. For more information about the North Shore Land Alliance, please visit www.northshorelandalliance.org.

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  • North-Shore-Land-Alliance-Protects-Water-with-Hydro-Action-Clean-Water-Septic-Technology

    North Shore Land Alliance Protects Water with Hydro-Action Clean Water Septic Technology

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For more information contact North Shore Land Alliance Email: [email protected] or call 516-922-1028 North Shore Land Alliance Protects Water with Hydro-Action Clean Water Septic Technology Oyster Bay, New York | The North Shore Land Alliance is leading the charge by installing a new, eco-conscious Hydro-Action clean water septic system at their newly remodeled headquarters at the Humes Preserve in Mill Neck, New York.  This was made possible by a generous donation from Wastewater Works, Inc. for the system, and grant from Nassau County’s SEPTIC program for the installation. The Hydro-Action septic system will remove harmful chemicals like nitrogen from wastewater ultimately protecting our bays, harbors, and sole source aquifer. The Land Alliance is dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of Long Island’s natural and historic lands, waters, and environmental resources. Through education, outreach and volunteerism, the Land Alliance aspires to connect people to nature and build a community conservation ethic. Residents are cordially invited to view headquarters in February. When visiting, you can also check out the Land Alliance’s clean water septic system as well as the state-of-the-art, carbon-minimizing geothermal energy system. Stormwater runoff preventing rain gardens to follow this spring. It is imperative that we work together as a community to protect our open spaces and water resources. By upgrading our homes with environmentally friendly technologies we can improve water quality, reduce CO2 emissions, and protect wildlife. If you’re interested in receiving a grant to upgrade your outdated and polluting septic system, check out Nassau County’s SEPTIC program at nassaucountyny.gov/SepticReplace. You may be eligible for $20,000 to switch to clean water septic technology.

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  • Shore Road Grass

    Conservation Easements 101

    If you ask conservation easement expert and tax attorney Stephen J. Small why people choose to place conservation easements on their land, he will give you the same answer every time. They love their land, they love their land and they love their land! While some may be impressed by the possible tax deductions, most just want to see their land protected and leave a legacy of sorts for future generations. Private conservation is critical to achieving both NYS and the nation’s goal of protecting 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. To do our part in achieving this important goal, the Land Alliance put together our own 30 x 30 Community Conservation campaign. We have identified more than 8,000 acres of conservation worthy land in our community that may be eligible for private conservation. Thus far, the Land Alliance has notified over 250 residents in 12 villages about the conservation value of their land. We think it would be useful to give our members a brief explanation of conservation easements. They are one of the best ways to protect our land and water and options you or a family member might want to consider. Landowners who wish to protect their land for its scenic, historic and/or natural qualities can use a conservation easement to restrict the type, amount and location of future development. The easement agreement is private and voluntary. It is a more permanent way to protect land than relying on existing government regulations such as zoning and critical environmental area designations. A conservation easement can be an essential tool for passing land to the next generation. By removing the land’s development potential, the easement lowers its market value, which in turn lowers the estate tax. This can make a difference in an heir’s ability to keep the land intact. A qualified conservation easement may also be eligible for a significant federal tax deduction. What is a Conservation Easement? A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement to preserve land in perpetuity. The easement agreement spells out a landowner’s commitment to protect the existing conservation values of some or all of their property by restricting specific development and future use. With an easement in place, the landowner still owns and controls the property, with only the specific uses/rights that protect the encumbered area as restrictions. A landowner may sell the land, but the conservation restrictions will remain in place forever. A conservation easement may be held only by a qualified land trust or governmental entity. It does not give the public any rights to the land unless the landowner decides to include such rights in the easement. How to Place a Conservation Easement There are several steps in creating a conservation easement. In our community, they begin with a landowner’s discussing their intent to preserve their land with the Land Alliance. As a preliminary step, our team will visit the property to evaluate the potential easement’s conservation value and discuss the landowner’s goals. If it makes sense, the next step is for the Land Alliance’s Board of Trustees to approve the project. Assuming Board approval, an outline of the remaining process is as follows: 1. Landowners should discuss the transaction with their advisors. The Land Alliance facilitates the transaction, but the landowner retains their own advisors, such as an attorney, accountant, appraiser and surveyor. The Land Alliance is not allowed to give tax or legal advice, although we can provide a donor with potential scenarios for both Federal and State tax benefits. 2. Once the landowner and the Land Alliance have reached an agreement, the landowner and/or their counsel should do the following: Find an accurate survey of the property or hire a surveyor to make one. An accurate survey will be important for the appraiser to determine the metes and bounds of the land to be conserved. Retain a qualified appraiser to determine the current market value of the land and the value after the easement is placed. Under IRS regulations an appraisal must occur no earlier than 60 days prior to the date of the contribution of the easement and no later than the due date of the income tax return on which a deduction for the gift is first claimed or reported. Initiate a title search to ensure there are no encumbrances on the donor’s land. The landowner’s attorney or the Land Alliance can initiate a title search. Any mortgage on the property must be subordinated to the conservation easement so that the provisions of the conservation easement cannot be eliminated if the mortgage is foreclosed. 3. Preparation of the first draft of the conservation easement agreement. The Land Alliance or the donor’s counsel may prepare the draft conservation easement. The Land Alliance will prepare baseline documentation. Baseline documentation includes boundaries, important natural resources, structures, clear descriptions of reserved rights and prohibited uses. The baseline establishes the ecological value and condition of the property at the time of the gift and becomes an exhibit to the conservation easement. It is required by tax law. The landowner will sign this document at closing. 4. Once the terms of the easement are agreed to, the landowner must provide the Land Alliance with copies of an appraisal and survey. The Land Alliance will provide the landowner with a copy of the baseline for their review. Once all documents have been agreed upon a formal closing will be scheduled. 5. After the signing and recording of the conservation easement the Land Alliance begins its stewardship program. A trained member of the Land Alliance staff will visit the property at least once each year and document that the terms of the easement are being upheld. The Land Alliance is required by law to have the resources necessary to uphold the terms of the conservation easement restrictions. We generally ask the donor to make a one-time, voluntary contribution to the long-term stewardship of the property. On average, the amount is $10,000, but amounts may vary depending on the size and complexity of the easement. 6. After closing, the easement agreement will be recorded with the appropriate governmental agencies. If the landowner intends to seek tax benefits, they must file necessary tax forms. The person making the contribution must file an IRS Form 8283, Non-Cash Charitable Contributions, along with their tax return for the year in which the gift was made and together with a copy of the appraisal dated no earlier than 60 days prior to the date of the contribution. Both the Land Alliance and the appraiser must sign the IRS Form 8283. In order to ensure the accurate representation of the value of gifts, the Land Alliance will not sign the IRS Form 8283 if it has reservations about the stated value of the donation. We hope this brief explanation of conservation easements and the process of creating such is helpful in your consideration of ways to protect our natural areas while keeping land in private hands. For further questions please contact the Land Alliance and we would be pleased to provide more detail. As easement propertyFederal Income Tax Benefit Scenario Federal Income Tax Benefits Assume a landowner has a 10-acre property in a village that is zoned for 2-acre subdivision. The owner chooses to place a conservation easement on the vacant 8-acre parcel. The parcel has conservation value because it is in the middle of the special groundwater protection area (as designated by the State of New York) and is immediately adjacent to already preserved parkland. Two appraised values must be determined: The current value of the entire property (existing fair market value) = $5,000,000 The value of the property after the easement is in place = $1,000,000 The value of the conservation easement = $4,000,000 (the difference between 1. and 2.) Under current law, there is a federal tax deduction for donating a conservation easement. Under the enhanced conservation easement incentive, the donor is allowed to deduct the entire conservation easement value, up to 50% of the landowner’s adjusted gross income, from federal income tax in a given year, and can carry forward any remaining deduction for a total of 16 years. A simplified example follows: Conservation Easement Value = $4,000,000 Landowner/Donor’s AGI = $500,000 50% of AGI =$250,000 Under the existing conservation easement incentive, a donor is able to deduct $250,000 of the $4,000,000 conservation easement value the year of donation and will be able to carry forward the remaining deduction of $3,750,000 over an additional fifteen years. Assuming the donor’s AGI stays the same over the next 15 years, the donor would continue to be able to take $250,000 in deductions each subsequent year which, in this example, generates the full value of the easement donation.

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