Agricultural Conservation Easements FAQ

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Agricultural Conservation Easement FAQ

What is a conservation easement? 

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement made between a landowner and a conservation nonprofit or government body. Agricultural conservation easements permanently protect farmland from future development while ensuring it remains available for agricultural production. The easement does this by permanently removing development rights, prohibiting incompatible uses (industrial and commercial), and protecting the property’s agricultural values, including the soils, water rights, and open space.

What allows conservation easements to exist?

How much is a conservation easement worth? Who is compensated for an easement?

What is in a conservation easement? What is allowed and what is restricted?

How are easements managed?

Who can hold easements?

How are projects prioritized?

 Where does funding for easements come from?

How long does the process take?

Can a landowner sell a conserved property? What happens to the easement?

Can easements change after they’ve been agreed to?

What is the value of an easement when development is restricted by zoning, like in a floodplain?

What happens if conserved land isn’t farmed?

Additional Resources:

Washington Association of Land Trusts

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Agricultural Land Easement FAQ

Agricultural Conservation Easements FAQ