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Land Protection Options

Land Protection Options

There are many different ways to protect the natural resource benefits of land.  The Land Conservation Program primarily uses two:

  1. MCWD purchased land sign

    Conservation Easements: A conservation easement (also called a voluntary conservation agreement) is a voluntary and permanent agreement between the landowner/s and the MCWD that describes specific restrictions on development and land use for that property.  An easement is a binding contract that is filed in the records at the county in which the land is located.  Terms of an easement are negotiated between the landowner and MCWD, and the current and all future landowners of that property must abide by the easement terms.  Specific terms of an easement will vary in each case based on the landowner's and District's needs.   The final determination of restrictions will determine the value of the easement.  For example, if a landowner gives up significant development rights to the property the value of the easement will be higher than in the case of an easement where the landowner retains many of the rights.  There is no requirement that a conservation easement allow public access to the property.  Learn more from our Conservation Easements fact sheet.

  2. wetlandPurchase of Property: In some cases the property is of high resource value to the District and an easement is not an option, either because the landowner wishes to sell the entire property as is, or the District has an interest in doing significant habitat restoration or a capital improvement project for water quality on part of the property.  In these cases MCWD purchases the property in its entirety, and either retains ownership to enable continued protection of the entire parcel, or installs the desired restoration or water quality treatment and resells the property subject to a conservation easement over that part of the property where continued protection is desired.