Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The conflict between proponents of land and water conservation and those promoting traditional, natural-resource intensive development is a well-known story. One side sees the economic development of land and water as a fundamental right, while the other side values preservation of wildlife, ecosystems, and biological diversity as at least an equal right. This article examines the intersection of these two viewpoints: the active conservation of land and water resources on private land through conservation easements that extend the long- standing property law notion of easements to the modern situation in which a landowner commits to maintain and conserve the property in a specific condition, usually for a financial benefit.