Conserve Your Land
A conservation easement is a tool for conserving private land. It is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect habitats, farmland, scenic views and other important features. An easement allows landowners to continue to own and use their land, and they can also sell it or pass it on to heirs. When you donate a conservation easement, you give up some of the rights associated with the land. For example, you might give up the right to build additional structures, while retaining the right to grow crops or harvest trees. Future owners also will be bound by the easement’s terms.
Conservation easements are flexible. Landowners and land trusts, working together, can write conservation easements that reflect both the landowner's desires and the need to protect certain conservation values. Even the most restrictive easements permit landowners to continue such traditional uses of the land as farming, foresting, and ranching.