What We Do

We help landowners protect their irreplaceable properties – forever

We use two principal conservation tools to do this: conservation easements and outright ownership of donated property.


A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and Sakonnet Preservation that permanently limits a property’s uses in order to protect its conservation values. A conservation easement offers several advantages:

  • It allows the owner to sell it or pass it on to heirs. 
  • It can significantly lower estate taxes–sometimes making the difference between heirs being able to keep land in the family or needing to sell it.
  • It can provide the landowner with income tax and property tax benefits.
  • It is flexible, and can be written to meet the particular needs of the landowner while protecting the property’s resources.
  • It is permanent, remaining in force when the land changes hands. Sakonnet Preservation ensures the restrictions are honored, through annual property monitoring and thoughtful communication with successor landowners.


Land donated for conservation is truly one of the finest legacies a person can leave to future generations. It is an appealing option for a number of reasons:

  • It is a relatively simple transaction.
  • It releases the donor from the responsibility of managing the land.
  • It provides substantial income tax deductions and estate tax benefits (while avoiding any capital gains taxes that would result from selling the property).

Donating land is often especially attractive to landowners:

  • whose land has significant conservation values and who do not have heirs, or whose heirs cannot or will not protect it;
  • who own highly appreciated property, the sale of which would result in large capital gains taxes;
  • who have substantial real estate holdings and wish to reduce estate tax burdens;
  • or who would like to be relieved of the responsibility of managing and caring for land that they otherwise treasure.

Consideration of conservation resources:

Conservation resources that are considered to have public benefit include forest, shoreline, wetlands, wildlife habitat, farmland, scenic views, unique flora and fauna, historic features or uses.

The benefits of conserving your land include:

  • The security of knowing your property will be protected according to your wishes forever.
  • The assurance that your property will be monitored annually to protect its conservation values by dedicated team of volunteer monitors, overseen by our professional Stewardship Director.
  • The satisfaction of protecting a measure of the rural character and natural resources of Little Compton for generations to come.
  • The potential eligibility for substantial local and federal tax deductions as a result of your charitable gift.

Please click here to view “Building with Little Compton in Mind – A Handbook of Ideas and Resources”.

Please click Frequently Asked Questions for further information, call or e-mail our office at 401-635-8800 or  (spa@sakonnetpreservation.org).