Land easements have been around, in essence, for centuries. A component of English common law, the concept of a landowner’s bundle of rights, of which certain rights could be separated out for restriction, was introduced to the US in the 1930’s – utilized by the National Parks Service to purchase visual easements along the Blue Ridge and Natchez Trace Parkways in several states. The term conservation easement was coined by William H. Whyte, sociologist, anthropologist and writer, in the 1950’s. (An introduction to Conservation Easements in the United States: A Simple Concept and a Complicated Mosaic of Law, Federico Cheever and Nancy A. McLaughlin, University of Denver, 2015).

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