Conservation easements are perpetual, undivided interests in property to protect natural, scenic, or open space values of real property. The conservation easement purpose includes assuring availability of the property for agricultural, forest, recreational, or open space use; protecting natural resources; maintaining or enhancing air or water quality; or preserving sites or properties of historical, architectural, archaeological, or cultural significance.
Conservation easements achieve the following goals:
obtain the rights to protect resources at a reasonable cost,
restrict the type and amount of development in exchange for compensation,
bind the current and future owners in perpetuity to the restrictions, and
establish enforcement rights.
Since the late-1990’s, the Department of Environmental Protection via the Division of State Lands has implemented a very successful less-than-fee acquisition program. Utilizing funds from the CARL, Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever programs, the Division has acquired more than 140 conservation easements and land protection agreements (CE/LPAs) protecting over 262,000 acres statewide. OES has primary responsibility for monitoring landowner compliance with terms and restrictions of these CE/LPAs. OES does not monitor regulatory conservation easements or easements acquired by other agencies.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.