Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2010


WVU College of Law


The perpetual nature of conservation easements makes adaptive management difficult on easement property. Various easement provisions may be used to incorporate adaptive management principles into a conservation easement, but various factors, including state statutory requirements and Internal Revenue Code requirements for deductibility, limit the flexibility of management on conservation easement lands. Jesse Richardson discusses how conservation easements limit implementation of adaptive management principles on protected lands. Case studies of conservation easements that now fail to fulfill the original conservation purpose, but are locked into perpetual conservation, illustrate the limitations of conservation easements. Richardson also discusses likely future conflicts between conservation easements and adaptive management techniques to address such things as sea level rise and the preservation of endangered species habitat. In the conclusion, Richardson proposes several legal and policy changes to reform conservation easements in order to accommodate and facilitate adaptive management on conservation easement lands.

Original Publication Title

Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal

Source Citation

3 Sea Grant L. & Pol'y J 31



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