A Conservation Easement is a voluntary legal and binding agreement between a landowner and a Land Trust that permanently restricts certain aspects of land use in order to protect the conservation values of the property. When a landowner places a Conservation Easement on their land, they maintain ownership and use of the property and can sell it or pass it on to heirs.
The land is subject to certain restrictions agreed upon by the landowner and the Land Trust. For example, a landowner might agree to limit development on his or her property to one residence of a particular size. Each Conservation Easement is tailored to be specific to the property it is designed to protect and the needs of the landowner.
We all benefit from private voluntary land agreements! A 2017 analysis from Colorado State University found that each dollar invested by the state for these (conservation) easements produced benefits of between $4 and $12 for Coloradans. Public benefits include clean water and air, scenic views, access to things produced by local farms and ranches products, and wildlife habitat: all things that contribute to a high quality of life in the state. Read more.
“Working with Mountain Area Land Trust was a breath of fresh air. They were very reasonable and listened to what my concerns were and what was important to me and my family heritage and we were able to make it work out to the best end result.”
Amanda Woodbury, Landowner