Conservation Easements

Conservation Easements


RiverLink works in many ways to support the environmental integrity, economic sustainability, and revitalization of the French Broad River Watershed. One of these ways is land protection through the FOREVER OPTION, RiverLink’s conservation easement program.

Conservation easements are an increasingly popular tool to protect land, habitat, and water quality, as well as preserve our mountain heritage. RiverLink’s FOREVER OPTION easements are voluntary legal agreements between a landowner and RiverLink which permanently define an agreed upon set of uses for a specific property. The FOREVER OPTION targets riparian and steep slope areas of our mountain region. Its goal is to join landowners in protecting land, streams, and water quality for perpetuity. Conservation easements are strictly voluntary and are tailored to both the needs of the land and the landowner’s desired use of that land. The donor of an easement always retains title to the property, and agreements never involve conditions that have not been approved by the landowner.

Besides being able to determine now how to protect your land forever, why become a conservation easement donor? The answers to that question are as varied as the easements themselves. Since each easement is tailored to the individual donor’s desires and the needs of the property it is protecting, the options are limitless. For example, you can elect to preserve a wildflower you treasure, call for conscientious development and low impact recreation, or simply work to reduce erosion. In addition, conservation easements often increase the value of the landowner’s property and provide federal and state tax incentives.

RiverLink has accepted over 100 acres in conservation easements through the FOREVER OPTION. Why is RiverLink interested in holding your conservation easement? Conservation easements along a riparian or steep slope area are wonderful tools for improving water quality, and they may also be written to allow greenway trails and other recreational uses. Some easements even allow public access, though this is not a requirement. Many new housing developments are adding easements as an amenity for the homeowner. You can also include a stream restoration in your easement. All these benefits are in line with RiverLink’s mission to make the French Broad River Watershed a better place to live, work and play.

To find out more about conservation easements call us at RiverLink 828-252-8474.

For more information of Voluntary Conservation Easements – Click Here

As part of our conservation strategy, we hope to hold easements on all of the greenways throughout the watershed so that they are protected forever. Click here to read about the benefits of greenways.