A conservation easement is a useful tool for landowners who wish to protect their land from future development, while retaining ownership of the property. The landowner may also receive several economic benefits from donating a conservation easement.
Easements offer permanent protection from development, and can be written to conform to the specific desires of the landowner. For example, an easement on a forested piece of land might prohibit future construction or subdivision, while retaining the owner’s rights to hunting, timber harvesting, and recreation. The conservation easement is generally donated to a land trust or other non-profit agency, which will ensure that the conditions of the easement are met in the future.