Conservation Easement Enabling Statutes: Perspectives on Reform

39 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014 Last revised: 22 Mar 2014

See all articles by Nancy A. McLaughlin

Nancy A. McLaughlin

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Jeffrey Pidot

Maine Attorney General's Office

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

All states have enacted some form of legislation that facilitates the creation of conservation easements. However, these state enabling statutes do not always contain the safeguards necessary to protect the public interest and investment in the easements. This short article proposes a variety of reforms intended to build needed protections into state law. No longer should the public be willing to invest in conservation easements without assurance that the protected lands have high conservation value, the easements are accurately valued, and the easements will not erode or be lost over time due to, for example, inadequate recordkeeping, holder incapacity or mismanagement, confusion or controversy over applicable laws, misapplication of common law real property doctrines, or other legal infirmities.

Keywords: conservation easement, enabling statute, condemnation, state tax credit, amendment, termination, merger, marketable title act, enforcement, stewardship

JEL Classification: H20, K11, K32, K34, L30, L31, Q10, Q20, Q24, Q28

Suggested Citation

McLaughlin, Nancy A. and Pidot, Jeffrey, Conservation Easement Enabling Statutes: Perspectives on Reform (2013). Utah Law Review, Vol. 3, p. 811, 2013, University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 61, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2402767 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2402767

Nancy A. McLaughlin (Contact Author)

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

332 South 1400 East, Rm 101
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-581-5944 (Phone)
801-581-6897 (Fax)

Jeffrey Pidot

Maine Attorney General's Office ( email )

6 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
United States

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