A conservation easement, also referred to as a land protection agreement, is a voluntary, binding agreement between a landowner and a conservation land trust to permanently protect a property’s natural characteristics by limiting how it can be used.
A conservation easement is the legal document linked to the deed that details the agreement. The land remains private property, but it can only be developed to the extent specified in the easement. The land can be sold with the easement in place or passed down to heirs.
Unlike deed restrictions and covenants, a conservation easement comes with a stewardship commitment from the land trust to annually monitor the land and ensure that the easement’s terms are carried through into perpetuity.
View our Conserving Private Lands video series featuring landowners who have placed a conservation easement on their property with NWLT.