Dyches Law Group
Face of Land Conservation
Meet Don Dyches - A native of Savannah, Don Dyches has a passion for the local land. As a real estate lawyer based in Savannah, Don is actively involved in land conservation efforts in both Georgia and South Carolina. For the last five years, Don has served as the chairman of the Southlowcountry (SoLo) Task Force, a group of private landowners, state and federal wildlife management agencies, land trusts and other conservation groups who work to promote land conservation in the South Carolina counties along the lower Savannah River. SoLo is driven by a shared understanding that if we fail to protect these treasured lands, we will not get them back – and something even more important in our culture, economy and environment will also be lost, forever.
One of the primary tools used in land conservation is the conservation easement, which is an agreement between the landowner and a land trust in which the landowner limits the development and subdivision of his or her property by transferring those rights to a land trust. In return, the landowner receives income tax deductions, and in some cases an upfront cash payment. In South Carolina, landowners can also take advantage of a state tax credit.
A conservation easement permits the landowner to retain ownership and full possession of the property, with the ability to continue traditional land uses like agriculture, silviculture, prescribed burning, hunting, fishing and other recreational uses. The landowner even has the right to a limited amount of development and subdivision of the property. Don advises landowners on how conservation easements can meet their business or estate planning needs, and how easements can significantly increase a landowner’s rate of return on the land.
Land conservation is all about preserving, intact, the unique landscape that attracts so many people to the Georgia and South Carolina coast. Land conservation has direct benefits on water quality in the Savannah River, which affects the drinking water supply for much of the area, and the viability of the Savannah port, which is the economic lifeblood of the region. Land conservation also helps landowners maintain their traditional land uses and practices in their rural way of life, and provides important habitat for wildlife and waterfowl. It is a combination of law, economics and science to solve the environmental problems that threaten the people, natural resources and communities in the South.
Don Dyches is admitted to practice in both Georgia and South Carolina, and has offices in Savannah and Pooler.
– Don Dyches, Dyches Law Group