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What is a Conservation Easement?

A conservation easement is an agreement between a landowner, the donor, and a qualified conservation organization, or the holder, in which the landowner voluntarily agrees to restrict the type and amount of development that may take place on his or her property. A conservation easement is a way to permanently preserve property that has ecological, scenic, recreational, or historical values while keeping the property in its natural and undeveloped state and still maintaining ownership of the property. The owner also keeps the right to use property for economic gain or recreation and the right to sell or deed the property to another. A donation of a conservation easement also may provide tax benefits to the donor, including federal income tax deductions, state income tax credits, and reductions in estate and property taxes.


The property owner who wishes to protect his or her property can work with the Living River Trust to complete the conservation easement donation process. This process is driven by the landowner and his or her wishes for the future of the land. The deed of conservation easement is recorded and becomes a matter of permanent record. Present and future owners of the property are bound by the terms and conditions of the easement.

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