fox kit
Joshua Eaves

Four Quick Facts About Conservation Easements

Are you interested in exploring if land conservation might be right for you, or for someone you know? Here are some quick facts that might be helpful.


1. What is a Conservation Easement?

A conservation easement is a land protection tool, written in the form of a deed that runs with the land for generations. Landowners conserve their land for a variety of reasons using a conservation easement including the love of the land, leaving a conservation legacy, and helping to transfer the land to the next generation.

2. Voluntary

All landowners who decide to conserve their land with a conservation easement do so voluntarily. Some donate the development rights and can receive an income tax benefit. Others are compensated for their easement through grant programs like the new Forest Conservation Easement Program and NYS’s farmland protection program.

3. Ownership Retained

When you conserve your land with a conservation easement you continue to own the property. You can lease, sell, bequeath or give away your land. The conservation easement remains in effect, giving you peace of mind.

4. They Don’t Prohibit All Development

Depending on what you and our land trust are working to conserve, an easement often allows for limited development that is compatible with the conservation goals. Working lands, including forestry and farming, are often part of a conservation project. Hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and other forms of recreation are usually allowed. Public access is at the discretion of the landowner unless specifically part of the project.