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Conservation Easements - Research Paper Example

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In a vastly deteriorating environment and with numerous species nearing extinction, federal law, institutions and individuals feel the responsibility of conserving the environment for future generations…
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Conservation Easements Research Paper
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Download file to see previous pages A conservation easement is a restriction land owners voluntarily put on themselves on specified uses of property to preserve natural, cultural or productive features (Parker). The conservation easement is made official by a legal agreement between the land owner and the ‘holder’ of the easement. A conservation easement usually takes place between individuals, governments or not for profit organizations. It must be noted that the conservation easement does not deprive the owner of legal ownership and grants him the right to determine the type of land uses to continue and those to restrict. The holder of the right is granted the authority to assess the condition of the property to ensure that it is in accordance with terms of the agreement (Merenlender, Huntsinger and Guthey). Conservation easement based acquisition is largely a voluntary method that hinges on private ownership and management of land aimed to meet conservation costs, thus avoiding high financial cost and political difficulties associated with public acquisition and management. (Merenlender, Huntsinger and Guthey). These agreements are usually perpetual and the financial incentives associated with such agreements depend on the compliance with terms of agreements. Land Trusts: - Land trusts are local, regional or national nonprofit organizations that work to preserve the land for its natural, agricultural, historical, scientific or leisure value. These trusts work with land owners to verify the easement agreement and finalize the financial benefits due to the owner. Once agreed, they monitor and assess the property and ensure that the terms of the agreement are abided by. Legal action can be initiated by the trust if violations are observed on the part of the owner. It is essential for the land owner to select an organization that has the financial capacity to handle long term responsibilities. Goal and Importance of Conservation Easements: - Conservation easement is a unique tool that enables land owners to conserve their property for natural, productive or cultural features along with tax benefits in case of voluntary payments. In a vastly changing economy and economic uncertainty, land owners are allowed to preserve their real estate to pass it to their children without bearing the burden of taxes and other costs (Parker). Conservation easements are usually donated to nonprofit organizations who work for the better of the society hence individuals can not only preserve their belongings but also serve their society well. It is important to note that conservation easements allow the owner to control access to his property. This is essential considering that the agreements are often misinterpreted as submission of power. The owner can bring in anyone he wants to the specific property under agreement. The primary purpose of such agreements is to preserve specific land from certain forms of use or development in order to preserve it for a greater purpose. It is important that such agreements thrive in order to ensure the sustainability of the environment. Conservation easements have met significant approval from the public due to the previously prevalent federal regulations. However, these agreements are customized and it is difficult to gauge the success of these agreements. All agreements are designed specifically and serve as a pact between landowners and land trusts rather than the environment; therefore, there is always room for manipulation or noncompliance with the essence of environmental protection and conservation. History and Use of Conservation Easements: - From the early 19th century, the United States laws of land preservation have been dictated by the federal government; the central approach has been land ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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