A conservation easement (CE) is a voluntary and legally binding land protection agreement between a landowner (grantor) and a qualified conservation organization (grantee). Grantor and grantee work together to customize a CE appropriate to the land, as well as in respect to the landowner’s intentions. The CE puts restrictions on how the land may be used, specifically restricting development, to perpetually preserve resources like agricultural land, water, wildlife habitat, and scenic views.
The landowner maintains control of the land with conservation practices, as well as development restrictions, in place. Since CEs are highly customized agreements, landowners may augment development restrictions so that plans for very limited development, such as a future generation’s family home on the property, may be exempt.
Read more about the possibilities with conservation easements:
- Conservation Easement Guide by New Mexico Conservation Easement Education Committee
- NM Conservation Easement Enabling Statutes documentation (2004) as published at farmlandinfo.org
- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
- National Conservation Easement Database