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Conservation Easements--A Troubled Adolescence

This article briefly describes conservation easements and how they operate to protect the conservation values of land, describes the dramatic growth in the use of conservation easements over the past two and a half decades, and highlights some of the more troubling issues that have arisen as a result of the growth in the use of easements, as well as proposals for reform. The article asserts that if reforms can be successfully implemented, conservation easements can emerge from their troubled adolescence to take their appropriate adult role in the panoply of land conservation techniques, and may help lead us to a new paradigm of private property ownership.