A conservation easement is a voluntary, binding legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently protects land by limiting present and future uses.
These agreements are both flexible and lasting tools. Once the conservation easement is finalized, the landowner retains ownership and use of the property within the terms of the agreement. The land trust takes responsibility for protecting the land's conservation values into the future - beyond the tenure of the current owner.
These agreements are designed to ensure that preserving the landowner's property is also compatible with their personal and financial needs. Conservation agreements that meet federal tax code requirements may provide significant income tax benefits to the owners.
Find more information on Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust's conservation easements.