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Fighting the Lure of the Infinite: Lease Conservation Easements at the Urban Fringe

July 2010

Citation: ELR 10687

Author: Jacob T. Cremer

Editors' Summary

Today, local, state, and federal governments provide incentives intended to conserve agricultural uses. One of those incentives, the conservation easement, is flourishing in both quantity and acres conserved. Perpetual conservation easements are generally assumed to be superior to shorter term lease conservation easements because of a preference for stronger, more permanent restrictions. Some commentators question the sensibility of this preference, pointing out that citizens are most often interested in conserving agricultural land on the urban fringe. This type of land use is best conserved by lease conservation easements, and least likely to be conserved by perpetual conservation easements. Alternatives, such as state and federal amendments allowing lease conservation easements to receive the same tax benefits as perpetual conservation easements, may allow for more effective conservation of agricultural uses of land.

Jacob T. Cremer will join Hopping Green & Sams in Tallahassee, Florida, as an associate this summer.

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