Copicut Woods (PMarotta)

Conservation Restrictions

Land conservation encompasses more than the traditional method of simply buying a threatened natural property to save it from development. Conservation Restrictions (CRs) are a fast-growing tool to protect private property nationwide. CRs are now a key part of how The Trustees partner with private landowners to ensure the permanent conservation of their very own special places.

Conservation Restrictions: 393 and Counting!

The Trustees of Reservations hold 393 Conservation Restrictions – comprising more than 20,000 acres – which connect and protect 54 Trustees reservations across Massachusetts. The Trustees are the largest private holder of conservation restrictions in the state, second only to public holders the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG). See a map of our CRs.

What is a Conservation Restriction?

Conservation Restrictions offer one method of helping landowners to maintain their property as protected open space, forever. A Conservation Restriction (also called a CR or Conservation Easement) is one of several methods of protecting land. It’s a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust (or other agency) designed to permanently protect the conservation values of a property by defining allowed uses.

Caring for Our Conservation Restrictions

Conservation Restrictions need to be monitored on a yearly basis. Thorough and timely CR monitoring is perhaps the single most important activity of responsible CR stewardship. It helps maintain an accurate record of any changes in the land over time, and it also provides an opportunity to strengthen landowner relations.

The Trustees’ CR Stewardship Program staff conduct and coordinate the annual monitoring of CR protected properties, create baseline documentation reports for new CRs and update them periodically, enforce the terms and conditions of the CRs, and respond to landowner requests for project approvals.

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