Conservation Easement Defined

What is a conservation easement?

Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements between a landowner and a land trust (or other qualified organization) such as the Merrill Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy in which the land owner, not some outside agency, places restrictions on the use of his or her property, in order to protect the natural values of the land. They (easements) are flexible and tailored to meet a landowner’s needs and vision for the land. Donation of a conservation easement protects your land permanently while keeping it in private ownership. A conservation easement, held by a land trust, provides permanent protection of the natural values of the site. The land owner retains ownership of the property and all rights and privileges for its use, except for the uses restricted under the easement.