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Enhancing Conservation Options: An Argument for Statutory Recognition of Options to Purchase Conservation Easements (OPCEs)

August 2017

Citation: ELR 10655

Author: Federico Cheever and Jessica Owley

Land conservation transactions have been the most active component of the conservation movement in the United States for the past three decades. Practitioners use traditional real estate tools to preserve habitat, scenery, and historically significant places. The prospect of climate change diminishes the value of most real estate tools currently used by proponents of land conservation transactions. This Article outlines one potential response to the challenge of private land conservation under climate change: a reinvigorated use of real estate options to purchase conservation easements (OPCEs).

Federico Cheever was a Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Jessica Owley is a Professor of Law at SUNY Buffalo Law School.

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