Whether you wish to protect cherished family land for your heirs, protect the farmland that fills our dinner tables, or ensure the lasting health of the beautiful waterways near your favorite hiking trails, the Conservancy can help you make a meaningful and permanent impact on our region.
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a willing landowner and a land trust to permanently protect land from subdivision and development—to conserve the character of the land as it is. The land trust works with the landowner to craft a flexible agreement that will protect the core conservation values of the property, yet be adaptable to future needs. This legacy is recorded in the property deed and the land trust agrees to work in partnership with the landowner and future landowners to ensure the terms of the agreement are met, forever.
The land remains in private ownership, and the landowner continues to use the property as they have in the past for agriculture, forestry, recreation, or the multitude of other purposes compatible with conservation. The agreement guarantees that the scenic character, wildlife habitat, water quality, and agricultural and forestland productivity of the property will be protected by limiting future subdivision and development. The landowner usually reserves the right to construct or maintain a residence on the property and may reserve the right to construct and maintain additional residences on the property. Conservation easements do not require public access of any sort.
Land trusts and the use of conservation easements are a reliable and popular means of conserving private lands for future generations. Local, community-based land trusts across the United States have successfully brought together people of diverse backgrounds to protect 47 million acres, including 8.8 million by conservation easement. (Land Trust Alliance 2010 Census.) Entire regions and communities benefit from landowners who protect their farm and forestlands because healthy lands contribute to healthy drinking water, vibrant wildlife habitats, and strong local and sustainable economies like our region’s farm and forest products businesses and its vital tourism industry.
Learn more about conservation easements...
LandLines, our bi-annual newsletter for conservation easement holders, is available in our Newsletters archive.