photo by Ian Bornarth.
Land Donations and Other Gifts of Real Estate
In addition to purchasing land and easements for conservation purposes, Sempervirens Fund may accept gifts of real property in several ways:
- We work with owners of redwood properties in the Santa Cruz Mountains who want to protect their property in perpetuity by donating it to Sempervirens Fund. Our decision to accept or decline land for preservation is based on many considerations, including conservation features of the property and potential for future transfer of ownership (for example, to become part of a state park).
- We may accept gifts of real estate that we will then sell to fund our land acquisition and stewardship.
There are several ways to use your real estate to fund a gift to Sempervirens Fund.
- Make an outright gift. We will sell the property and use the proceeds to support vital programs that advocate for thriving forests, wildlife and communities.
- Fund a charitable remainder trust that will provide lifetime income and substantial tax benefits.
- Leave the property to Sempervirens Fund in your will or trust.
Make a Gift of Real Estate
To learn more about ways to gift your real property, including the types of property that can be gifted, download our Gifts of Real Estate fact sheet.
Regretfully, we are not able to accept and protect all of the land that is offered to us.
For all gifts of property, please contact us to discuss whether we may accept your gift as well as your giving plan options.
Julie Seelen, CFRE
Chief of Philanthropy
Land Acquisition: Purchases, Easements and Retired Timber Rights
Since 1900, Sempervirens Fund has permanently protected more than 56 square miles – about 36,000 acres – of redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains.
About two-thirds of the region’s redwood forests are already protected. But, 610 square miles, or 390,000 acres, of priority forest land are still vulnerable to subdivisions and development.
Of the 10,000 acres of old-growth redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains, less than 1,000 acres remain unprotected in small, fragmented patches across the region. These are Sempervirens Fund’s highest priority for protection.
Our experts identify the highest priority non-protected conservation lands in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Since 2013, Sempervirens Fund has been guided by a Santa Cruz Mountains Redwoods Conceptual Area Protection Plan (CAPP), our strategic conservation plan to guide land protection efforts.
Much of the remaining redwood forests to protect is privately owned. We work with willing sellers to purchase land at fair market value, often transferring the land to California State Parks or other local public agencies. We also own significant conservation properties, on which we work to restore healthy forests and heal landscapes.
And because private ownership of redwood forests is essential to a thriving regional ecosystem, we work with private landowners to establish conservation easements and trail access easements. We may also accept and retire timber harvest rights. Easements protect the natural and scenic resources while keeping the properties in private ownership. Trail easements help connect parks while expanding recreation opportunities for visitors. Easements often limit building and other activities on the property, and the landowners receive compensation through a tax deduction or cash payment.
Similarly, we work with landowners to retire the timber rights on their land, protecting redwoods while keeping the land in private hands.