Neoconservation: Conservation Easements
July 8, 2010 12:09 PM Subscribe
Today Minnesota finalizes a $44 million deal to conserve approximately 188,000 acres of forest, wetlands, and shoreline
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through what is known as a conservation easement
. In addition to private funds from entities such as the Blandin Foundation
, the easement is being paid for through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment
to Minneosta's state constitution, which just over a year ago created permanent funding for natural resource, arts, and cultural projects through a 0.375% state sales tax. UPM-Blandin Paper Co., will continue to own the land and be allowed to harvest wood, but the land cannot be developed or subdivided and the public must have access to the land.
Conservation easements have become a very popular method of conservation whereby a land owner keeps their ownership in land but either sells or donates certain rights to use and develop the land. Embraced by entities such as The Nature Conservancy
, these easements are not without criticism
. If you perform a search, you are likely to find there are easements throughout your state, county, and city; however, despite being popular only now is there an effort to create a national database
of these semi-public lands.