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A conservation easement is a legal device that enables a landowner to permanently protect his or her land from development. The easement is given to a conservation organization, like the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
The exact wording of each easement tends to be unique and landowners can retain all privileges of land ownership and save development rights. Private landowners, for example, can continue to farm land, hunt on it, exclude the public, etc. A conservation easement follows the land, not the landowner. The purchaser of a land under easement is bound to abide by the easement terms. If he/she should sell the new owner also must abide by the easement.
The Indian Creek Nature Center has recently placed the Bena Farm property of the Nature Center in conservation easement with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
For more information contact the Nature Center at 319-362-0664 or Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation at 515-288-1846.