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Conservation Easement Transaction Costs Grants

While many conservation projects are completed in Colorado without GOCO assistance, the closing costs associated with conserving a property – which often can range from $20,000 to $50,000  – can be a financial barrier to landowners wishing to preserve their property. These costs include those associated with appraisals, filing fees, stewardship and other necessities. Even when the landowner is eligible to receive the benefit of the state tax credit, the financial costs may outweigh the benefits to the landowner. As a result, valuable lands remain vulnerable when they could have been preserved but for the lack of funds to cover transaction costs.

The Transactions Costs Grant Program helps facilitate land conservation projects with donated conservation easements that would not otherwise go through in the face of prohibitive transaction costs for the landowner. This unique use of GOCO funds is intended to leverage lottery funds to expand the amount of land preserved statewide. The program will target projects that include priorities identified in GOCO’s strategic plan, such as the continuation of landscape-scale conservation and conservation on properties along riparian corridors, among others. Grants are capped at $50,000 per property.

All GOCO grants are reimbursement grants, meaning funds will not be distributed until closing. However, GOCO recognizes some grantees that will be awarded a transaction cost grant will need funding to reach closing, and GOCO is coordinating with Colorado Open Lands to ensure maximum program success. Organizations that are awarded a GOCO transaction cost grant but need funding to bring a project to closing are encouraged to contact Jordan Vana (307-988-2373 x 221) about a potential interest-free transaction cost loan.

Who Can Apply

Non-profit land-conservation organizations, municipalities, counties, political subdivisions of the state, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are eligible for transaction costs grants.

How To Apply

Applications are available by request only. First determine your eligibility by sending your responses the Transaction Costs program criteria to Open Space Program Coordinator Amanda Hill at ahill@goco.org. Applications will be available from Amanda when GOCO staff has approved your project's eligibility.

APPLICATION FORMS

when to apply

  • July 15, 2016: Application posted
  • September 2, 2016: Applications due
  • December 8, 2016: Grants awarded

Questions?

Contact Amanda Hill, Open Space Program Coordinator, at ahill@goco.org or 303.226.4521.