A conservation easement is a tool that landowners can use to protect their land. They can donate or sell conservation easements to government agencies, land trusts or conservations. These easements limit the way that the owner can use the land. The idea is to preserve the land for the future. For instance, a conservation easement may not allow the owner to develop the land. It may have restrictions to protect the natural ecosystem of the land.
The point of an easement is to allow the owner to retain his or her rights to the property. It continues to benefit the landowner. He or she can still sell the property or pass it on to his or her beneficiaries. If you are considering a conservation easement, keep these three facts in mind.
You Do Not Have to Give the Public Access
There is a myth that if you have a conservation easement, then you have to grant the public access to your land. This is not the case. You can choose who is allowed on your land and what the public can do on your land. If you choose not to allow the public access to the conservation, then you can retain private access only.
You Can Still Sell Land
Some people avoid conservation easements, in fear that they will no longer have control over their property. They fear that they won’t be able to sell the property. You still have the right to lease, borrow against and sell the property. You do not give up the title to your property when you have an easement. The conservation easement should outline what you envision for your property. If you have long-term goals to protect the forestry, then you can set up guidelines to protect the land while also remaining flexible enough to meet any needs that you have.
The biggest fear that landowners have when it comes to conservation easements is that they have to give up their rights as property owners. This is simply not the case. You agree to conditions and restrictions, but you still own the property and retain all of the same rights to buy, sell and choose what to do with your land. To find out if this type of easement is right for you, it may help to speak with a real estate lawyer in Allentown, PA, like from Hoegen & Associates, P.C. He or she can offer you guidance and advice during your consultation.