Private land whose development rights are held by someone other than the landowner, usually a government entity or a conservation organization.
A legal agreement allowing a landowner to transfer selected property rights to a land trust. The landowner retains title to the property. The easement becomes part of the land deed, meaning that all future property owners will be bound by the terms of the easement. (see title) [D-E
A conservation easement is a way for a landowner to permanently protect the environmental value of his or her land while continuing to own it. It is a legal agreement between a landowner and a government agency or nonprofit organization that permanently limits development of the land. Even if an owner sells the land or passes it to his or her heirs, the conservation easement remains in effect. By donating a conservation easement, a landowner may qualify for a variety of tax incentives. These include reduced property and estate taxes, as well as having the easement classified as a charitable gift for income tax purposes.