Jessica E. Jay

Conservation Law, P.C. is a land conservation law firm devoted to protecting working landscapes and environmentally significant lands in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West through the use of perpetual conservation easements.

Jessica Jay, the founder and principal attorney of Conservation Law, P.C., represents landowners and easement holders to conserve land using durable, enforceable, and flexible perpetual conservation easements drafted to anticipate changes over time. Ms. Jay is dedicated to ensuring the permanence of such land conservation through sound conservation transactions and the defense and enforcement of perpetual conservation easements.  The first consultation is free; please feel free to contact Jessica Jay at Conservation Law, P.C. by phone at 303-674-3709, or by email by clicking this link. 

In addition to the practical work of assisting landowners and easement holders to protect land through the use of perpetual conservation easements, Ms. Jay also collaborates with the conservation community over the enforcement, defense, and permanence of perpetual conservation easements. She assists the conservation community to develop and implement legal defense and enforcement mechanisms for perpetual easement holders, and to design new conservation easement incentives.  Ms. Jay guides conservation professionals, easement holders, and landowners in national educational workshops, and the next generation of land conservationists through land conservation law courses, which she teaches at the Vermont Law School and the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, for which courses she was invited to author a textbook.

Ms. Jay’s expertise and perspective, shaped by years of research, publication, teaching, and practice of land conservation law, informs courts, legislatures, regulators, and policymakers. Ms. Jay is a member of the Land Trust Alliance’s Conservation Defense Network, and serves on the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council, which advises the Alliance on matters involving the enforcement, defense, and permanence of perpetual conservation easements. She publishes extensively on land conservation law topics, and her seminal research and publication of approaches to land trust risk management over a decade ago provided the model for the newly created Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC insurance service, led and designed by the Alliance to provide defense and enforcement resources for land trusts owning land and holding perpetual conservation easements.

DISCLAIMER:  The information provided here is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Contact Jessica E. Jay

REMINDER: This listing is a free service of LandCAN.
Jessica E. Jay is not employed by or affiliated with the Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.

Contact Jessica E. Jay

Conservation Law, P.C
Attorney at Law
52 Meadowlark Dr
Evergreen, Colorado  80439
Phone: 303-674-3709
Fax: 303-674-3715


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Colorado

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4 Introductory articles were found for Jessica E. Jay

Drafting Conservation Easements


Drafting the conservation easement influences everything about the protected property after the easement’s grant: it guides the landowner’s use of the protected property, it guides Land Trust’s monitoring and stewardship of the property, and it guides Land Trusts enforcement of the conservation easement against the original landowner and all future landowners, forever. Land Trust’ s policies will complement drafting, stewardship, and enforcement of the conservation easements it holds, but details and requirements specific to that property achieved through the easement s drafting are contained in the final, recorded deed of conservation easement. The challenge of drafting conservation easements lies in creating documents that endure and are enforceable for perpetuity, and this requires creating both flexibility and fortitude in the document.


Enforcing Perpetual Conservation Easements Against Third-Party Violators


Among the most daunting challenges the holder of a perpetual conservation easement faces is the enforcement of the easements it holds, for all time, and against all violators.  National organizations estimate that at least forty million acres of land in the United States are protected with perpetual conservation easements. Each of these conservation easements is held by an entity, either a government agency or a tax-exempt, non-profit land trust, charged with the responsibility of enforcing easement violations against any and all violators. Holders must contend with violations caused by landowners and third parties. In the latter instance, someone who is not the owner of the easement-protected property enters the land by trespass without the knowledge or permission of the landowner or the easement holder, and violates the conservation easement. A Land Trust Alliance (Alliance) survey, specifically designed to gather information on conservation easement violations, reveals that behind successor-generation landowners, third parties are the most frequent class of easement violators. The findings of this survey track those of an earlier Alliance survey and are consistent with violation reporting in the most recent Alliance census. Further, anecdotal reporting of conservation easement violations indicates that many violations are caused by third parties—possibly as much as forty percent.


Legal Defense And Enforcement Of Conservation Easements


As the dawn of the next century approaches, the private land conservation movement in this country must prepare to face a daunting opponent—landowners and their challenges to the restrictions placed on their land. These challenges are apt to take the form of legal scrutiny of one of the most popular land preservation devices currently in use, the conservation easement, and of the custodians of the conservation easement, the nonprofit land trust organizations. PLN


Understanding When Perpetual Is Not Forever: An Update To The Challenge Of Changing Conditions, Amendment, And Termination Of Perpetual Conservation Easements, And Response To Ann Taylor Schwing


Rarely in the legal discourse is an author afforded the opportunity to revisit and update a recently published law review article and to correct misunderstandings of a response thereto. When Perpetual Is Not Forever: The Challenge of Changing Conditions, Amendment, and Termination of Perpetual Conservation Easements (“The Challenge”) explores the area of law surrounding the amendment and termination of perpetual conservation easements, with specific focus on the existing legal framework, legal regimes, emerging statutory and common law, and states’ approaches to self-guidance.1 The Challenge identifies next steps and options for perpetual easement modification and termination guidance, including revisions of the Treasury Regulations § 1.170A-14 (“ Treasury Regulations” or “Regulations”) .2 The Challenge posits that providing clear, consistent guidance through existing or new legal frameworks ensures that perpetual conservation easements and the purposes they protect will endure over time.

This Article informs about developments since the publication of The Challenge and corrects misunderstandings asserted in Ann Taylor Schwing’s Perpetuity Is Forever, Almost Always: Why It Is Wrong To Promote Amendment and Termination of Perpetual Conservation Easements