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easement-4-768x520Conservation easements, under which a landowner gives up certain property development rights in exchange for payment or tax deductions, are one of the most widely used tools for permanently protecting open spaces on private lands. However, the mechanisms behind conservation easements, especially the tax incentives, are complex and face regular court challenges. “We are very much still in the grand experimental phase with regard to conservation easements,” says conservation easement legal scholar Nancy McLaughlin. Read more about the challenges conservation easements face and proposed reforms to strengthen this tool in Western Confluence magazine.

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