Perpetual Conservation Easements in the 21st Century: What Have We Learned and Where Should We Go From Here?

Nancy A. McLaughlin


The public is investing billions of dollars in conservation easements, which now protect an estimated 40 million acres throughout the United States. But all is not well. Uncertainties in the law and abusive practices threaten to undermine public confidence in and the effectiveness of the conservation easement as a land protection tool. On February 15, 2013, the Wallace Stegner Center at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law sponsored a conference at which these issues were explored, with the goal of helping to minimize abuses and ensure that conservation easements will actually provide the promised conservation benefits to the public over the long term.

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