Land Conservation Transactions | L4358

Increasingly important in our efforts to preserve ecological diversity, historic places, working lands, scenic viewsheds, open space, and public uses of land are conservation tools and processes such as donation of conservation easements, purchase of sensitive lands, and private/public partnerships for land conservation. Students will research and review the swiftly developing body of law and legal issues accompanying the use of conservation easements and will gain a practical understanding of both the legal and nonlegal dimensions of land conservation transactions involving conservation easements. In addition, students will actively engage in the progression of a conservation easement transaction, beginning with early negotiations, drafting, and financial analysis, and proceeding along a spectrum to donation, amendment and termination evaluation, violation, and enforcement. Each student will be responsible for engaging in role-playing exercises throughout the conservation transaction process to assess various financial scenarios, identify and resolve disputes related to the conservation transaction, and negotiate and draft a conservation easement.

Evaluation Students will be evaluated based on preparedness for class (25 percent), class participation in discussions and role-playing exercises, including research and presentation of their conservation easement (25 percent), and final conservation easement draft (50 percent). The final conservation easement draft will take the place of a final exam and will be graded as a take-home exam.

Prerequisites: None. But, students will benefit from having taken introductory-level property law, real property transactions, or tax law courses, or from having practical experience in real property transactions.
Credit Hours: 3
ULW: This course does not satisfy the Upper Level Writing requirement (ULW)

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