Holder Certification

Holder Certification

Certification to Hold Conservation Easements

Pursuant to section 12-15-104 C.R.S., the Division has established a certification program for organizations that hold conservation easements.

The purpose of the program is to:

  • Establish minimum qualifications to encourage professionalism and stability, and
  • Identify fraudulent or unqualified organizations from becoming certified.

The certification program applies to:

  • Nonprofit entities that hold easements to protect conservation values or for historic preservation, and
  • State and local governmental entities that hold easements.

Organizations that seek certification must apply to the Division. The application considers the applicant’s:

  • Processes for reviewing, selecting, and approving easements
  • Stewardship practices and capacity
  • Financial records, and
  • Governance and ethics.

See Division of Conservation Rule 2.1 for the certification requirements. 

Conservation easement tax credit certificates may only be issued for easements held by certified organizations. Certification is not required for organizations that hold easements for which no tax credit is claimed. 

Expedited or Automatic Certification

The certification program contains a provision for the expedited or automatic certification of entities "currently accredited by national land conservation organizations that are broadly accepted by the conservation industry," and a streamlined and lower-cost process for conservation easement holders that do not intend to accept new donations of conservation easements for which tax credits would be claimed that focuses on the holder’s stewardship capabilities (see Chapter 2 - rules 2.1 and 2.2).