Over the past 40 years, tens of millions of acres of land have been conserved through the use of conservation easements. The law of conservation easements was developed for widespread use in the 1980s, and there are still some unsettled questions associated with this incredibly useful conservation tool.

Most state conservation easement law offers great flexibility for a land owner to convey development rights to a non-profit or government agency, but because many easements are donated, the federal tax law is equally important. The Conservation Law Center has been among the nation’s leaders in educating conservation organizations about the law of conservation easements, and in developing standards and advocating for improvement and clarity in the law.