Legal Aspects of Conservation Easements: A Primer for Transportation Agencies

Title: Legal Aspects of Conservation Easements: A Primer for Transportation Agencies
Author: Smith, Tyson
Publication Date: 2013
Dewey Decimal Number: 341.762
Call Record: DIGITAL      341.762  Smith  2013


Legal Aspects of Conservation Easements: A Primer for Transportation Agencies
Cover of Legal Aspects of Conservation Easements: A Primer for Transportation Agencies

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Transportation Research Board Business Office

500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001 USA

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Conservation easements can generally be defined as deed restrictions placed on land to protect its associated resources. Conservation easements have become an increasingly popular and useful mechanism to transfer and protect interests in real property. This digest, written as a primer, provides an introduction and general overview of key conservation easement topics, from their origin in common law to key concepts in creation and termination. Legal and transactional personnel at transportation agencies are most likely to need an understanding of conservation easements 1) when they create them to satisfy a legal requirement or policy during their acquisition effort, and 2) when they encounter them in right-of-way planning and acquisition. These two situations provide the organization for this digest. Finally, this digest provides assistance to legal practitioners in drafting documents for the acquisition and maintenance of conservation easements. Broad concepts are presented here in order to provide a strong legal basis from which the transportation agency professional may gain an understanding of the need for certain provisions within conservation easements. Many significant resources exist that will provide more in-depth coverage of each topic. The reader is encouraged to consult the references listed when greater coverage of a specific topic would be helpful. This digest should be helpful to attorneys, transportation administrators, planners, real estate officials, engineers, and real property owners.

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NCHRP Project 20-6




Smith, Tyson
Allden, Tara D
Appel, Ross


James B McDaniel



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NCHRP Legal Research Digest

Issue Number: 60
Publisher: Transportation Research Board



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Subject Areas:

Administration and Management; Environment; Highways; Law; Planning and Forecasting; I10: Economics and Administration; I15: Environment; I20: Design and Planning of Transport Infrastructure