Conservation Easement Enabling Statutes: Perspectives on Reform
39 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014 Last revised: 22 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2013
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: Suggested Citation