A conservation easement is a preservation agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization that keeps land in private hands and productive use, while permanently protecting it from development. These agreements are an increasingly popular way to protect land. From 2000 to 2005, more than 3.7 million acres nationwide were protected through conservation easements – a 148% increase in five years.
The increased use of conservation easements is in response to limited funding for park acquisition and maintenance – and to the desire to keep working lands working and on the tax rolls. Conservation easements also offer permanent protection from powerful development pressures, something government land use policies cannot do. In Santa Cruz County farmland and forests are currently protected by land use policies, but still face long term development threats.
Each conservation easement is handcrafted, there is no one size fits all. You can begin that process by calling the Land Trust and talking to us. We will gladly send you a packet of information on this powerful conservation tool.
Call our office at (831) 429-6116 or email us for more information.