In Defense of Conservation Easements: A Response to 'The End of Perpetuity'
Nancy A. McLaughlin
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
W. William Weeks
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Wyoming Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2009
This article critiques the arguments offered in favor of treating donated conservation easements as unrestricted charitable gifts (that is, as fungible or liquid assets in the hands of their government or land trust holders). It also discusses the practical and potential constitutional problems associated with proposals to change state law to permit government entities and land trusts to sell, trade, release, extinguish, or otherwise terminate the conservation easements they hold outside of judicial cy pres proceedings. Johnson County, Wyoming's, improper termination of a perpetual conservation easement, which was challenged in Hicks v. Dowd and Salzburg v. Dowd, provides the backdrop for the discussion.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 96
Keywords: Hicks, conservation easement, conservation servitude, perpetuity, cy pres, amendment, extinguishment, impairment of contract, separation of powers
JEL Classification: K11, K32, K34, L31, Q15, Q20, Q24
Date posted: January 24, 2009 ; Last revised: November 30, 2013