Conservation easement is a deeded transfer of an interest in real property to a qualified charity that results in a tax deduction in exchange for the contribution. The purpose is to conserve or protect the land or its resources for future generation. However, the conservative easement allows owners to retain other private property rights and to live on and use their land. A conservation easement is legally binding. The easement creates a legally enforceable land preservation agreement between a land owner and a government agency. The restrictions of the easement run with the land. Conservation easements are binding on all future owners of the property.
The following is an example of a federal statute defining the term:
Pursuant to 16 USCS § 460nnn (4) (A), the term 'conservation easement' means “a binding contractual agreement between the Secretary and a landowner in the Cooperative Management and Protection Area under which the landowner, permanently or during a time period specified in the agreement, agrees to conserve or restore habitat, open space, scenic, or other ecological resource values on the land covered by the easement.”