Nature feeds our soul and a healthy environment fosters our own health. We can keep our land healthy through permanent land management agreements designed to protect our special places forever.
Conservation Easements The Conservancy works with private landowners to protect the special places they love through voluntary agreements called conservation easements. Legally binding and permanent, these agreements are recorded on the Deed and are tailored to a property to protect its special natural features such as habitat, scenic views, shoreline, agricultural land, rare and endangered species, and more. Part of what makes a conservation easement such a valuable tool for protecting land is the fact that is voluntary, yet permanent and keeps the land in private ownership.
The Conservancy began working on conservation easements in 2000 and holds conservation easements on lands peppered throughout its Ashland, Bayfield, Sawyer and Douglas County service area. These properties range from Lake Superior, inland lake and river shorelines to working farms, wetlands and large blocks of contiguous forest habitat.
Conservation easements are the most traditional tool for conserving private land. A “conservation easement” (also known as a conservation restriction or conservation agreement) is a legal agreement between a landowner and the Bayfield Regional Conservancy that permanently limits uses of the land in order to preserve its natural, also called conservation values. These conservation values include features like significant wildlife and plant habitat, lake or river shoreline, wetlands, agricultural lands or important scenic or cultural lands which benefit the public.
In order to protect these conservation values, certain restrictions on use of the property and the reserved rights of the landowner are detailed in the conservation easement, which is a legal, recorded document. Conservation easements are perpetual; they apply to the current owner and all future landowners, permanently protecting the property. The conservation easement allows landowners to continue to own and use their land, and they can also sell it or pass it on to heirs.
Conservation easements are flexible and tailored to each property and the landowner goals. An easement on property containing rare wildlife habitat might prohibit any development, for example, while an easement on a farm might allow continued farming and the addition of agricultural structures. An easement may apply to all or a portion of the property, and need not require public access.
_Bayfield Regional Conservancy ~ 33 N. 1st Street, Bayfield, WI 54814 ~ 715.779.5263 ~ email@example.com