Ask the Conservation Director: “I have property I want to conserve. What are my options?”

MHLC staff monitor properties annually

Q: I have property which I want to conserve. What are my options for land conservation?

A: This is a great question. We provide several options for landowners to meet their goals when conserving land with MHLC.

If you are interested in donating a piece of land to MHLC, we encourage you to check our acquisition criteria and see if your property is a match. Properties which align with one or more of the below criteria may be accepted as a donation of land through MHLC:

  • scenic vistas and viewpoints
  • geologic or significant resources
  • stream corridors
  • trail corridors
  • working landscapes (including agricultural and recreational lands)
  • wetlands
  • historic and archeological areas
  • significant aquatic and terrestrial habitat with corridors to link larger significant habitats.

If you, the landowner, are interested in maintaining ownership of the land, but want to ensure that its development is limited in the future, a conservation easement is often the best choice. A conservation easement is a legal document, filed with the property deed, which creates a framework for acceptable uses for the land. Easements can outline where development is and isn’t allowed on the property. They can also delineate resource protection areas which protect a property’s natural resources from development or other threats. These limitations on future development are applicable in perpetuity.

Once a conservation easement is in place, MHLC stewardship staff will work with easement landowners to schedule annual visits to the property to ensure the terms of the easement are being upheld. This means that even if you sell your property, the conservation easement will be transferred along with the property deed, and the property will be protected and monitored to ensure your wishes are upheld forever.

This fall, MHLC will be hosting our Conservation Easements 101 event, which will provide in-depth examples of lands conserved with conservation easements and the landowners that have conserved land with MHLC.

To register for this event, or to learn more about other MHLC events, please visit our Events page.

Sarah Walsh
Conservation Director

Do you have a question for MHLC’s Conservation Director? Please submit your questions to Sarah Walsh at Your question might be featured!

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