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. Conservation easements convey land development rights to qualified conservation organizations, permanently protecting the land from incompatible development
In Texas, The Nature Conservancy acquired its first conservation easement on 30 acres in East Texas in 1983. Today, we have nearly 100 such voluntary land-use agreements around the state that together protect nearly 300,000 acres.