A conservation easement limits certain uses on a property in order to advance specified conservation purposes while keeping the land in the owner’s ownership and control.
A conservation easement limits certain uses of the land in order to advance one or more conservation objectives while keeping the land in the owner’s control. It is established by mutual agreement of a landowner and a private land trust or government.
The holder of a conservation easement must monitor the eased property to confirm compliance with conservation restrictions and, when necessary, take action to uphold the conservation objectives of the easement. These and other stewardship activities result in costs, year in and year out, to the holder.
Fifty-eight Pennsylvania counties have agricultural land preservation boards that purchase agricultural conservation easements. Sixty-eight private, charitable land trusts accept donations of conservation easements or, less commonly, purchase them. These two paths to farmland preservation differ in many ways.
Some donations of conservation easements qualify for a federal income tax deduction; others do not.
Organizing essential documents in a secure, accessible system is a fundamental part of conservation easement stewardship. This guide describes the systems of 14 land trusts.
A riparian buffer protection agreement limits activities on all or a portion of a property to advance conservation purposes while keeping the property in the control of the landowner.
Occasionally a land trust will seek to amend a conservation easement. More often, the owners of land subject to an easement will ask for an amendment. In any case, the issue of who can insert themselves into easement management matters can be compelling reason for the parties to agree to an amendment if the easement was created in Pennsylvania prior to June 22, 2001.
A working forest conservation easement keeps forestland intact for timber production, providing support for rural economies. It is established by mutual agreement of a willing landowner and a private land trust or government. The conservation easement limits subdivision, development, and activities that would hinder the land’s capacity to grow trees for industry. If agreeable to the landowner, it can also be used to ensure recreational access for the public.
How does decrease or increase in market value of land resulting from establishing or amending an easement relate to the conservation easement’s value? What do we mean when we refer to “value”? This guide explores these questions