Conservation Easement Monitoring

Many of Black Swamp Conservancy’s preserved lands are protected with perpetual land conservation agreements known as conservation easements. Under these agreements, a landowner agrees to restrict the use of their private property in perpetuity in order to protect its conservation values.

Every year we visit each of these properties to monitor the easement. We have a conversation with the landowner to talk about their land management goals, address any concerns that they have or we have, and share updates. Then we walk the boundaries of the property and visit the major features to monitor conservation values and identify any threats or changes.

Noteworthy changes are documented with notes and photographs in a monitoring report. We keep all of this information in a permanent file to document the condition of the property over time.

The collaborative partnerships we have with our easement landowners allow us to protect much more than just the lands we could purchase outright and manage on our own. Private landowners who want to see the ecological values of their land remain intact have protected nearly 9 million acres in the U.S. through conservation easements.

In addition to monitoring visits made by staff, Black Swamp Conservancy uses a trained group of volunteer monitors to accomplish this important task every year.

If you are interested in going through our training program and helping with conservation easement monitoring, contact Conservation Associate Ellie Schiappa.