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Private Lands Conservation

Conservation Easements

New Federal Law Enhances Conservation Tax Incentives

New tax incentives are available for private landowners interested in protecting the important conservation values of their lands through the donation of conservation easements. Learn more about this unique opportunity.


Conserving Land, Water and a Way of Life

Conservation easements are one of the most powerful, effective tools available for the permanent conservation of private lands in the United States. The use of conservation easements has successfully protected millions of acres of wildlife habitat and open space, keeping land in private hands and generating significant public benefits.

What is a Conservation Easement?

A conservation easement is a voluntary, legally binding agreement that limits certain types of uses or prevents development from taking place on a piece of property now and in the future, while protecting the property’s ecological or open-space values. Learn more about how a conservation easement works.

How The Nature Conservancy Uses Easements

For more than four decades, The Nature Conservancy has been using conservation easements to protect landscapes from development — affording them better protection than could be accomplished through outright purchase.

In the Blackfoot Valley of Montana, for instance the Conservancy accepted the state’s first conservation easement on 1,800 acres in the mid-1970s. Today, 30,254 acres in the Blackfoot are covered by easements — and it is one of the most intact landscapes in all of Montana.

Learn more about conservation easements at the Conservancy and explore easements in action.


More on Conservation Easements
Conservation Easements: Conserving Land, Water and a Way of Life

Read a primer on conservation easements and how the Conservancy implements them. (pdf)

Conservation Easements in the United States

Read fact sheets on easements across the country.

Conservation Easements Across Large Landscapes

Learn how the Conservancy, in partnership with others, keeps landscapes intact and habitat unfragmented through the use of easements.

Fast Facts About Conservation Easements

Discover just how widespread this critical tool has become.

Conservation Easements for Landowners

See what landowners say about conservation easements

Conservation Buyer Program

Learn about this innovative revolving fund, which depends on conservation easements for its success.


Contact Us to Learn More About Conservation Easements

If you are interested in conservation easements on your property or in your local area, please contact your local Nature Conservancy office.

If you are a reporter and are interested in more information about conservation easements, please contact Media Relations at The Nature Conservancy.

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