Conservation Easements

What is a conservation easement?

A conservation easement (also known as a voluntary conservation agreement) is a legal agreement that is used by landowners to protect the natural, agricultural and scenic resources of their land.

The landowner retains ownership of the land and may continue to use the land for agriculture, recreation or other open space uses.

Conservation easements restrict certain uses such as industrial and commercial activities, but may allow for residential and commercial agricultural uses.

Generally, conservation easements are flexible and tailored to meet the landowner’s individual needs while protecting the unique natural, open space or agricultural characteristics of the property.

Conservation easements are donated to a nonprofit conservation organization, such as the Land Trust of Napa County, which bears the responsibility to inspect the land periodically and enforce the landowner’s restrictions in perpetuity.

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