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Easing Into a Right of Way

In Vermont, home to Isle La Motte, conservation easements have a long history; public funds have paid for easements of 62,310 acres, almost four times the total reported a few years ago. Photo provided courtesy of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.

Conservation easements-- once a small portion of the fiscal budget for land protection-- are enjoying a new era of acceptance as state and local governments expand financial support for buying partial interests (or rights of way) in land to protect resources. Economic reasons are cited most often to explain the increase in public support. "It's cheaper to buy easements than acquire the land completely," is a typical comment. Florida, New Jersey, Iowa and Colorado report recent increases in easement activity. And, The Trust For Public Land reports that over 300 people flocked to a 1996 Texas Parks and Wildlife conference to launch a new-for-Texas approach to land protection--"Maintaining Private Lands with Conservation Easements."

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June 26, 2019, 12:02 pm PDT

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