Conservation Easements for CWMTF Funded Projects

Easement templates can be found at the bottom of this page.

There are several basic types of conservation agreements we use depending on the land ownership and requirements of the grant program. Here is a summary:

State-held Conservation Easement – This is a legal document granted or assigned to the State of North Carolina.  It is a real property right vested in the State and is tracked as such by the State Property Office.  We receive annual monitoring reports for properties protected by these easements and maintain direct responsibility for enforcing encroachments.  Most of our Land Acquisition Program projects not under State ownership are protected by these easements.

Third-Party Conservation Easement – These easements are similar to the State-held conservation easements, except that the grantee is another conservation organization.  The State holds no direct property interest and does not monitor these easements.  However, the State does maintain a third-party right of enforcement as an option in the event that the grantee fails to enforce the easement.  These are used for our donated property mini-grants and stream restoration projects.

Restrictive Covenants – These single party agreements impose restrictions on the future land use that can be virtually the same as a conservation easement.  However, they do not have a second party responsible for annual monitoring and reporting.  We generally use these for properties owned by a local government.

Dedication under the Nature Preserves Act – When the ownership of a property will be State agency, qualifying portions of the property are dedicated under the Nature Preserve Act. This designation is managed by the Natural Heritage Program.   

For more information about types of land protection documents CWMTF uses and how each type applies to the program areas, see "Conservation Documents Applicable to CWMTF-Funded Projects”.