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Evolution of the After-Easement Value


With no sales of land encumbered with a conservation easement, valuation was based on the identification of rights that would be taken away through placement of the easement and the quantification of the value of each of these rights.  The most common rights considered were:
1) the right to hunt and fish commercially,
2) the right to lease the land,
3) the right to develop the property, and
4) the right to commercially harvest (clear-cut) the timber.


With the emergence of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in Mississippi and the Deep South, sales of WRP land were obtained and used, as they involved property encumbered with a similar perpetual easement.  The rights prohibited generally under WRP include:
1) the right to develop the property,
2) the right to clear-cut the timber (although the WRP land was cropland at the time it was placed under the program),
3) the right to use the property for commercial purposes including commercial hunting and fishing, and
4) the right to farm the land.

The easements under the Wetlands Reserve Program vary from the “typical” conservation easement in that they permit leasing of the property for recreational (hunting/fishing) use, and permit the property to be subdivided into smaller portions and sold.


Since land with conservation easements other than WRP have now sold, it is possible to directly compare land encumbered with a conservation easement.  While these sales will be given primary consideration, WRP sales are still considered appropriate and will also be used when determining an after easement value.

This article has been provided by Jack K. Mann, MAI, CRE and Gerald R. Barber, ASLA, IAAO of Barber & Mann, Inc. as a service to the Private Landowner Network and should be used for educational purposes only.