What's A Conservation Easement?
Conservation easements are voluntary deed restrictions placed on an owner's property that prohibit or limit future development on the property. These restrictions are perpetual and may be enforced in court. Since the easements are voluntary, there is considerable flexibility afforded an owner in tailoring the easement to the owner's needs. Conservation easements do not require a landowner to allow public access to their property.
In 2004, the Conservation Advisory Board conducted a survey of all lands that were protected in Buncombe County. There are 420,269 total acres in Buncombe County. In 2004, 57,238 acres were already protected by national forests, State parks, conservation easements and protected water sheds. By the end of 2017, the total number of protected acres in Buncombe County was 75,711 acres. The support of the Buncombe County Commissioners and their focus on preserving lands in Buncombe County has been very successful. This leadership has generated over $36 million in grants and gifts from landowners and private donors to make these easements possible.