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Conservation Easements

Conservation Easements

Conservation Easement Program: A Benefit to our Community

For many years, the City of Boulder has used conservation easements as part of its acquisition strategy in preserving and protecting open space and mountain parks lands in and around Boulder. From small building lots to larger agricultural tracts, these properties are an important part of the 45,000 acres of open space enjoyed by Boulder's residents and visitors.

What is a Conservation Easement?

An Open Space and Mountain Parks Conservation Easement is a legal agreement between the landowner and the City of Boulder that permanently limits uses of the land to protect its conservation values. Each easement agreement is unique to the individual parcel of land, the values to be protected, and the landowner's needs and expectations. Public access is generally not permitted.

How does it work?

When landowners convey a conservation easement to the City of Boulder, they consent to certain mutually agreed upon limitations regarding use of the land. This typically involves restrictions on development of the property — either prohibiting any houses from being built or limiting the nature or size of any further development.

What are the benefits of a Conservation Easement?

  • Ensure permanent protection of the land's resource preservation values including historical agricultural uses, wildlife protection and preservation of riparian areas
  • Landowner continues to own and use the property with certain restrictions
  • Community has the land preserved and protected
  • Substantial tax credits may be available to donors
  • Allows the city to preserve land without spending public money
  • Preserved for future generations

What types of land are suitable for a Conservation Easement?

Conservation easements can protect farms, forests, wetlands, wildlife habitats, historic places, and scenic views. Each conservation easement is written specifically to address the needs and desires of the landowner while protecting these important areas and values.

Wetlands/streamsMany of our conservation easements have a creek or wetland on them. We partner with the landowner to preserve these valuable natural resources and wildlife habitat.

Small Acreage Rural PropertiesMany of our conservation easements are small-acreage rural properties with a single home and a barn. They are primarily located next to open space property and act as buffers from encroaching development. They also help to retain the agricultural traditions of the area and add scenic value.

Ranches/farms: One of our charter purposes is to preserve agricultural uses and land suitable for agricultural production.

Forested properties: We are interested in protecting our forests and keeping development to a minimum in these areas. In addition, we strive to protect this valuable wildlife habitat.

How Do I Get Involved?

If you, or someone you know, would like to protect the conservation values of their land with a conservation easement, please contact Michael Downey at 720-415-5574.

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