Fee Title Acquisition
Direct acquisition works best when a landowner does not wish to continue to own the property but wants to protect sensitive resources, wildlife species and habitats, and a wide variety of public uses are desired. In these cases, the Conservancy directly acquires land from willing landowners and manages these properties for the public benefit. Fee title acquisition works well when the Conservancy wants to ensure public access to a particular property or we believe it is vital to have control over how the property will be managed, for example, protecting a unique wildlife habitat or preserving a Native American cultural site.
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a willing landowner and the Conservancy that protects a land's conservation value by permanently limiting its uses. Owners who create conservation easements often receive substantial tax benefits. Conservation easements work well when landowners want to continue to own and manage their property, the easement becomes part of the property title in perpetuity and the Conservancy ensures, that current and future owners honor the terms of the easement. Under a conservation easement, the property can be sold, leased or kept in agricultural production and bequeathed to heirs. In many cases, the rights to subdivide and develop a property are limited or extinguished by a conservation easement. The landowner continues to own the land that is subject to the conservation easement, while the Conservancy is responsible with monitoring the property to make sure its resources are being protected and that the terms of the easement are not being violated.
Conservation easements can be tailored to protect important wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, agricultural land and a land's rural character, while also allowing the landowner to continue working the land. Generally, conservation easements do not allow public access to the property unless specifically permitted by the landowner.
Preserve ManagementThe Conservancy currently holds management responsibilities and grazing servitude on many preserves that are owned by separate parties, often public agencies.