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Working Forest Conservation Easement

  1. A conservation easement placed on a working forest. All forests “work” by providing wildlife habitat, clean air, clean water, beautiful surroundings, etc., but a “working forest” is one that is actively managed using a forest stewardship plan as the roadmap or guide. This is in contrast to an easement that is commonly called “forever wild”, where forest harvesting is prohibited so that nature can take its course. It is also different from an easement with no harvest restrictions at all. Working Forest Conservation Easements (WFCEs) do more than restrict specified development rights on a property. WFCEs can protect forest values by assuring sustainable forest practices and encouraging long-term land stewardship, all in accordance with the goals and objectives of the easement grantor (the donor or seller of the easement). And, WFCEs can enable landowners to continue to derive economic value from the land through the harvest of forest products, good and services, to support the ongoing costs of ownership and stewardship. [Source: Maryland Cooperative Extension, Working Forest Conservation Easements: A Primer for Forest Landowners, 2002]