When we protect a piece of land with a conservation easement, we pledge to protect that land forever. The land is still privately owned, and may change hands – a landowner can leave it to heirs or sell it, but the conservation easement remains tied to the land. When the ink is dry on the conservation easement, our work has really just begun. Colorado Open Lands maintains a state-of-the-art land stewardship program that monitors the land and enforces the easement, and provides counsel to the landowners to ensure that all parties have the knowledge and tools to hold up their end of the agreement.
The monitoring process: what landowners can expect
Monitoring visits are conducted annually on every conservation easement we hold. These visits are required by Federal Law, our Colorado certification by the State, and as part of our Land Trust Alliance Accreditation.
Each conservation easement is created to ensure the permanence of specific values of a property. To protect these values, each easement contains certain permissions and restrictions for activities on, and uses of, the land. During each monitoring visit, these permissions and restrictions are reviewed and the property is evaluated on whether the terms are being followed.
Equally important to reviewing the terms of the conservation easement, is the opportunity for us to meet with the landowner in person and address any questions or concerns. It also provides us the opportunity to go over your future plans for the property and any reserved rights you intend to exercise in the upcoming year.
For a more complete description of the process and our landowner obligations, download our landowner packet.
Have questions about stewardship or monitoring? Please contact our Director of Land Stewardship, Cheryl Cufre at CCufre[at]coloradoopenlands.org or at 303.988.2373 ext. 216