1. An easement grants certain rights for specified purpose to someone other that the owner to the property. An easement may apply to the entire properly of a portion of it, may be in the form of an agreement, deed restriction or covenant. [source: Glossary of Conservation Terms, Ridge and Valley Conservancy, Inc.,]
  2. An interest in land owned by another person, consisting in the right to use or control the land, or an area above or below it, for a specific limited purpose (such as to cross it for access to a public road). The land benefiting from an easement is called the dominant estate and the land burdened by an easement is called the servient estate. Unlike a lease or license, an easement may last forever, but it does not give the holder the right to possess, take from, improve, or sell the land. The primary recognized easements are: (1) a right-of-way; (2) a right of entry for any purpose relating to the dominant estate; (3) a right to the support of land and buildings; (4) a right of light and air; (5) a right to water; (6) a right to do some act that would otherwise amount to a nuisance; and (7) a right to place or keep something on the servient estate. An easement creates a nonpossessory right to enter and use land in the possession of another and obligates the possessor not to interfere with the uses authorized by the easement. An easement is generally affirmative in that it creates the right to make use of the land of another. A negative easement, the obligation not to use land in one's possession in specified ways, is known as a restrictive covenant.
Easement Value
  1. The difference between a property's value before the easement is placed on it and the value after the easement is placed on it. [source: Glossary of Conservation Terms, Ridge and Valley Conservancy, Inc.,]
  1. A system that includes all living organisms (biotic factors) in an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) functioning together as a unit. An ecosystem is made up of plants, animals, microorganisms, soil, rocks, minerals, water sources and the local atmosphere interacting with one another. [Source: Biology Online:]
Ecosystem Services
  1. The benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services, the products obtained from an ecosystem (such as food, fresh water, biological raw materials (i.e. timber, fiber, biomass fuel, and ornamental resources), biochemicals and pharmaceuticals); regulating services, the benefits obtained from an ecosystem’s control of natural processes (such as maintenance of air quality, climate regulation, water purification, pest mitigation and flood control); cultural services, the nonmaterial benefits obtained from ecosystems (such as recreational opportunities and educational and inspirational values); and support services, the natural processes that maintain the other ecosystem services, (such as nutrient and water cycling, habitat and primary production.) [Definition from the World Resources Institute:]
Ecotone species
  1. Species that live where there is a zone of transition between distinct ecological communities or habitats
  1. (1) A lawsuit brought to remove a party who is occupying real property. (2) The name of an action, which lies for the recovery of the possession of real property, and of damages for the unlawful detention.
Eminent Domain
  1. Eminent domain is an exercise of the power of government or quasi-government agencies (such as airport authorities, highway commissions, community development agencies, and utility companies) to take private property for public use.
Endangered Species
  1. A plant or animal population that is declining to the extent it may become extinct if it is not protected by laws or regulations. [source: DCNR State Forestry Resource Management Plan, Glossary of Terms:]
Endemic Species
  1. A species native and unique to a particular location
  1. A permanent fund established to support the costs of a named project or purpose. Permanence is assured by restricting withdrawals of principal and generally relying on investment income for support.
Environmental Advisory Council (EAC)
  1. An Environmental Advisory Council serves as an official public forum and mechanism for advancing environmental considerations within the municipal decision-making and policy process. See the EAC tool for more detailed information
Environmental Assessment
  1. An environmental analysis prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act to determine whether a federal action would significantly affect the environment and thus require a more detailed environmental impact statement. [source:]
Environmental Degradation
  1. A negative impact as the result of an action upon the environment. [source: DCNR State Forestry Resource Management Plan, Glossary of Terms:]
  2. The reduction of the capacity of the environment to meet social and ecological objectives, and needs. Some examples: land degradation, deforestation, desertification, loss of biodiversity, land, water and air pollution, climate change, sea level rise and ozone depletion. [Source: International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Terminology:]
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  1. A report that documents the information required to evaluate the environmental impact of a project. It informs decision makers and the public of the reasonable alternatives to the project, including those that would avoid or minimize adverse impacts or enhance the quality of the environment. [source:]
Environmental Mitigation
  1. Steps taken to reduce or reverse the impact of earlier environmental changes or damage, usually caused by human activities. [source: Glossary of Conservation Terms, Ridge and Valley Conservancy, Inc.,]
Environmental Rights Amendment
  1. Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution is known as the Environmental Rights Amendment. It reads: The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. [Article 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution is akin to the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution; the Environmental Rights Amendment places environmental rights on the same level as political rights like free speech.]
Environmental Stewardship Fund
  1. A dedicated fund created in 2002 that is used for environmental restoration and conservation and community revitalization projects. Receives revenues from an increase in the fee charged for dumping trash at landfills and has received funds from the 2005 Growing Greener bond initiative. By law, funds from the Environmental Steward Fund are distributed as follows: 14.8% goes to the Department of Agriculture for farmland preservation, 37.4% goes to the Department of Environmental Protection to clean up acid mine drainage and support watershed based conservation efforts, 24.1% goes to the department of conservation and natural resources for rehabilitation of state parks and forests and grants to local governments and nonprofits for open space protection and recreation projects, and 23.7% goes to PennVEST for water and wastewater treatment facilities.
  1. The United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Ephemeral pools
  1. Temporary pools of water, often which form in the spring. Because they are often devoid of fish, they allow the safe development of amphibian and insect larvae. Also known as vernal pools.
Equitable owner
  1. One who has rights or obligations of an owner regardless of legal title on the ground of equity
  1. The wearing away of land surface by wind or water. Erosion occurs naturally from weather or runoff but is often intensified by peoples practices. [source:]
  2. The gradual wearing away of rock or soil by physical breakdown, chemical solution, and transportation of material, as caused, e.g. by water, wind, or ice [source:]
Estate Planning
  1. The preparation for the orderly administration and disbursement of a person's estate. The preparation includes taking actions that will minimize taxes and distribute assets to the appropriate heirs. [Source: Glossary of Land Conservation Terms and Techniques, Triangle Land Conservancy:]
Estate Tax
  1. The estate tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. In calculating the value of the taxable estate, certain deductions are allowed, which may include property that passes to qualified charities. Information about the estate tax can be found on IRS form 706, which is used to figure the estate tax. [source:]
  1. A legal principle that precludes a person from asserting something contrary to what they have previously asserted.
Estoppel Certificate
  1. Typically used in regard to a lease as part of a prospective buyer or mortgagee's due diligence, a confirmation of key matters regarding the lease that cannot later be contradicted by the tenant that signed the confirmation.
  1. A semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries are thus subject to both marine influences, such as tides, waves, and the influx of saline water; and riverine influences, such as flows of fresh water and sediment. As a result they may contain many biological niches within a small area and so are associated with high biological diversity. [source: Wikipedia:]
Executory-Interest Holder
  1. In conservation easement work: A named easement holder that may assume the original holder's interest upon the occurrence of a stated condition, such as failure to enforce or dissolution. [Source: Elizabeth Byers and Karin Marchetti Ponti, The Conservation Easement Handbook, Published by the Trust for Public Land and the Land Trust Alliance, 2005.]
  1. The termination of a conservation easement. [Source: Elizabeth Byers and Karin Marchetti Ponti, The Conservation Easement Handbook, Published by the Trust for Public Land and the Land Trust Alliance, 2005.]
Extraction Tax
  1. A tax imposed by a state on the extraction of natural resources, such as oil, coal, or gas. Commonly referred to as a severance tax.