Conservation Easement

Conservation Easement

A legal tool used by landowners to transfer land usage rights (and protection) to Land Trusts.  It creates cultural continuity in an otherwise unpredictable world.


A non-profit organization that protect lands and water with significant conservation value. These are generally agricultural in nature, though important water resources, wildlife habitats and lands of scenic, historic or cultural significance are also protected so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come.

The local Ashe County community has a tradition of coming to “Swansie’s Place”. They often bring a picnic and spend the day picking blueberries. Peter and his Seven siblings were born here. His family moved away when the farm was sold, but he still returns each year to pick berries.

WHEN WALTER AND JOHNNY DISCOVERED THAT THEIR NEW FARM’S BLUEBERRY PATCH HAD BEEN PICKED BY LOCALS FOR 40 YEARS, THEY DECIDED TO PROTECT IT. They placed their land under a conservation easement that they donated to Blue Ridge Conservancy, a local land trust and that keeps people connected to their community. This easement insures that the farm will be protected for its agricultural significance, water resources, wildlife habitat and scenic resources forever. In turn the Conservancy has the responsibility to see that Walter and Johnny, and all future owners, respect these conservation values.

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