Conservation Easements on the Rise

This piece from Miller-McCune looks at the conservation easement and explains how the legal device is being used to protect land and prevent sprawl.

According to this article, the number of land trusts increased 32% between 2000 and 2005. Many expect that trend to continue due to this recession.

"This legal device makes good use of the dictum that says you have to give something to get something - in return for losing potential profit by preserving natural features, the landowner gets a tax break.

These easements are usually between a private landowner and a public or government agency that restricts the amount and type of development and protects the property's natural resources in perpetuity.

It's not a new concept. Thomas Tyner, regional counsel for the Northwest and Rocky Mountain region of the Trust for Public Land in Seattle, says the first conservation easement occurred in New England around the mid- to late 1800s."

Full Story: Earth to Stand on — Conservation Easements



Conservation easements vs. stopping mass produced building

Conservation easements are very much a response to mass produced building. People in communities across the country are trying to save what is left after large tract home and commercial builders have gobbled up most of their farms and forestland.

What we really need to get at is cutting out this model of building, rather than paying to stop it from taking place to begin with.

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