Conservation Easements: Legal Principles, Valuation, and Applications
Conservation easements play an important role in protecting natural landscapes and sensitive habitats, and in promoting sustainable land use practices. In this course, students will explore the principles, applications, controversies, and implications of this land policy instrument.
The course begins with an introduction and overview of conservation easements, setting the stage to explore their uses in land policy. Throughout the modules, students will also review the legal principles, valuation methods, and federal tax provisions associated with conservation easements, while gaining insights from real-world examples and exploring strategies to address controversial aspects of this tool.
Module 1: Introduction and Overview
Module 2: Conservation Easements as an Instrument of Land Policy
Module 3: Why Are Conservation Easements Important? A Cape Cod, MA, Example
Module 4: Legal Principles of Property Taxation and Conservation Easements, Part I
Module 5: Legal Principles of Property Taxation and Conservation Easements, Part II
Module 6: The Appraisal of Conservation Easements
Module 7: Considerations for Valuing Restricted Land
Module 8: Valuing Land Affected by Conservation Easements: Guidance from Federal Law and Regulations, Part I
Module 9: Valuing Land Affected by Conservation Easements: Guidance from Federal Law and Regulations, Part II
Policymakers, professionals working in the field of environmental protection, planners, appraisers and valuation experts, lawyers and legal professionals specialized in land use and property law, and property owners interested in learning more about conservation easements.
After finishing this course, students will be able to:
- Explain what conservation easements are and their purpose
- Explain the uses of conservation easements as a land policy instrument
- Identify different types of easements
- Identify controversial aspects of conservation easements and propose ways to mitigate them
- Discuss the effects of conservation easements on property values
- Identify the federal tax provisions that address conservation easements