The Conservation Easement Process

Board President, George Olsen, Managing Director, Lois Delger-DeMars, and Board Member and easement donor, Phil Rostad, sign the Rostad's easement, which gave MLR its millionth acre of conserved land.

Board President, George Olsen, Managing Director, Lois Delger-DeMars, and Board Member and easement donor, Phil Rostad, sign the Rostad easement, giving MLR its millionth acre of conservation.

The fourth quarter of the year is always the busiest for MLR’s staff and landowners. This is right about the time when the majority of conservation easements are finalized, signed, and sent to counties for review.

This home stretch follows a sometimes years-long process of meeting with landowners to discuss their intentions, and to memorialize those good intentions in conservation easement agreements tailored specifically to fit their needs.

Though each easement agreement is different, MLR’s easement process is always the same!

The Voluntary Private Land Conservation Easement Process

1. MLR staff and landowner meet to review property and complete MLR’s conservation easement checklist.
2. The project is presented to MLR staff for approval.
3. The project is presented to MLR Board of Directors for approval.
4. A letter of board approval is sent to the landowner.
5. MLR staff begins the easement drafting process.
6. The first draft of the conservation easement is sent to the landowner for review, at which time MLR recommends that landowners seek outside financial and legal counsel.
7. Landowner provides easement revisions to MLR.
8. MLR staff obtains a preliminary title commitment and, if necessary, a minerals title search.
9. MLR staff prepares mortgage subordination, if necessary, for landowner to negotiate with their lending institution.
10. MLR staff contracts, if necessary, for a mineral remoteness test as required by Internal Revenue Code.
11. MLR contracts for resource documentation reports as required by Internal Revenue Code.
12. The landowner has their property appraised by a qualified conservation easement appraiser.
13. The draft conservation easement is sent to the county planning board in the county in which the property is located for review.
14. Final easement is signed by the landowners and a MLR representative.
15. The easement is recorded with the county.

Interested in learning more about conservation easements, or in meeting with staff?

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