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A Tradable Conservation Easement for Vulnerable Conservation Objectives

Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 74, p. 229 (2011)

Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 198

21 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2011 Last revised: 11 Jul 2013

W. William Weeks

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The law governing termination of donated conservation easements generally and appropriately discourages termination. Among the requirements is a judicial finding that it is impossible or impracticable to meet the purposes of the easement. Climate change and other large scale ecological events may render conservation easement-restricted lands unsuitable as places to protect particular endangered species or natural communities. This article proposes changes in the law, including the federal tax law that governs deductibility of donated conservation easements. The proposed changes would make it possible to donate a deductible conservation easement the value of which could, upon satisfaction of certain conditions, be traded, if necessary to serve the conservation purposes the easement was originally intended to serve.

Keywords: conservation, conservation easement, conservation purposes, conservation values, climate change, perpetual, cy pres, charitable trust, qualifying conservation contribution, extinguishment

Suggested Citation

Weeks, W. William, A Tradable Conservation Easement for Vulnerable Conservation Objectives (2011). Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 74, p. 229 (2011); Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 198. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1975769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1975769

W. William Weeks (Contact Author)

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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