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How We Conserve Land

The Manor Conservancy conserves land in partnership with landowners through conservation easements held by the Conservancy and/or other qualified land trusts.  We also work with landowners to ensure that the standards outlined in the easement are upheld in perpetuity.  We maintain relationships with public policy makers, conservationists, and experts in land preservation so we may keep the community informed and advocate positions in support of our mission.


Land is preserved using an instrument called a Deed of Conservation Easement. This is a legal agreement, recorded in county land records, between a landowner and a government organization or a land trust. It identifies conservation values present on a property and spells out the landowner's commitment to protect the existing character of the property.

Briefly, easements: 

  • Apply to all future owners of the property 
  • Limit such things as the amount of subdivision that is allowed on a property or the number of houses that may be built 
  • Do not grant public access to a property unless that is what the landowner wants 
  • Are tailored to fit a landowner's individual situation

There are two primary steps involved in land conservation: 

1. Legally protecting the land from future development by putting property under easement

The Manor Conservancy provides expertise, information and support to landowners interested in land preservation through donated and purchased easements.  Generally, the donation of an easement - usually including some or all development rights - is an option for landowners who can benefit from tax incentives available  Another option is to apply for a purchased easement through a local, state, or federal program; this can be desirable for those who might use the funds received to keep land in the family or make needed improvements.   In all cases, provisions of easements provide for safeguarding conservation values present on the property. You can find more specific information about options on our Conserve Your Property page. 

2. Providing ongoing stewardship to support the easement agreement. 

The Manor Conservancy is your conservation and stewardship partner. We work to help you continue to protect the conservation values you chose to preserve when you put your property under easement. We keep you apprised of developments in conservation policy and organize visits from our volunteer stewards to assist you in the ongoing conservation process.

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