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Landowner Easements & Incentives

How Purchase of Land or Development Rights Works

If you’re interested in getting money or tax-incentives in exchange for 10 or more acres of agricultural, farm or other undeveloped land, contact us today to see if your property may be eligible. Flexible programs could let you put land into a conservation program or easement, or sell it outright. 

Step 1  See if Your Property is Located in an Area of Need 
  • Click on map to make it bigger.


Step 2  Consider Your Preferred Land-Use Options 
  1. Maintain ownership and enroll the land in an agricultural-use protection program. This option protects ag use into the future with no additional restrictions on the type of ag work. (Programs include: TDR (Transfer of Development Rights), Open Space Tax, Conservation Futures).
  2. Maintain ownership and work land with some restrictions, while conserving and protecting species and habitat. 
  3. Sell your property outright? 

Step 3  Contact a County Rep 

Step 4 The County will schedule a property visit
  • After you contact a county rep, if initial office assessment matches location and acreage needs, county will evaluate the property in person.

Step 5 If property meets program criteria, the county may make an offer
  • You have time to consider the offer, and to accept or decline.
  • Purchase price is based on appraised value. The law safeguards sellers from receiving less than the fair market value for property, and also requires the County to stay within fair market range. 
  • See a flow chart showing the fuller process.

More Information About This Program
  • Program Purpose  - Thurston County is developing a Conservation Land System as part of the HCP Conservation Program. Landowners with HCP-covered species or habitat in certain Service Area locations could earn income by dedicating or selling land for conservation, or tax breaks by participating in other 

    County land conservation incentive programs.

  • Purchase Price -  Per state law, county purchase price is based on appraised value, and the County pays the costs of the sale. The law safeguards sellers from receiving less than the fair market value for property, and also requires the County to stay within fair market range. 
  • Flexibility of land use  - If you have agricultural land to sell, but would like to continue using it for ag purposes, that may be possible. Let’s talk.
  • 10 - 50+ acres preferred - depending upon species. If you’re next to a preserve, any acreage is okay. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re next to a preserve, please contact us. We’ll check. County to confirm habitat. 
  • Timing - Purchase decisions are being made with willing sellers. The County is motivated, and moving as quickly as possible.
  • HCP Species - include Mazama pocket gopher subspecies, Oregon spotted frog, Oregon vesper sparrow, Taylors checkerspot butterfly.


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