Easement Stewardship

Handout that includes steps you can take to protect yourself from adverse possession.

The stewardship areas for the 2015 conservation easement stewards.

How does the Forest Society enforce the terms of its easements?

The primary objective of our stewardship program is to preserve the conservation values of those lands protected by conservation easements. Ensuring compliance with the terms of each easement is critical to meeting this objective.  The Forest Society is prepared to legally defend and enforce our easements when necessary.  Legal enforcement, however, is a remedy of last resort.  Our program is most successful if compliance is voluntary.

Where can I get more info on land trusts in NH?

The New Hampshire Land Trust Coalition (NHLTC) is an excellent resource for statewide land trust information.  Visit http://www.nhltc.com/ .

Are there any grant funds available to improve my land and forests?

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers voluntary programs to landowners that can provide financial and technical assistance in exchange for improving conservation practices on your property.  Visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/nh/programs/financial/ for more information.

Where can I get more information on invasive species management?

UNH Cooperative Extension is a great resource for information on invasive plants.  Visit their website for more information on banned plants, identification, and control of invasive species on your property.  Download the latest Guide to Upland Plant Species in NH.

Am I liable for injury if the public accesses my land?

The State of New Hampshire has laws in place that are designed to limit your liability as a landowner.  The laws apply to all types of land, but do not extend protection to any landowner that collects a fee for use of the land.   Read more about NH’s liability laws in this summary provided by Upper Valley Land Trust.

Does my easement require public access?

Not all conservation easements guarantee public access, so you’ll want to refer to your specific easement deed.  Look under the Purposes section; there may be language that indicates the property was protected for outdoor recreation by and/or the education of the general public.  This indicates that there is guaranteed public access on at least a portion of your property.  You can also look under the Use Limitations section; there will likely be a section that addresses public access and prohibits posting the property against non-motorized recreation. 

I changed my mind about my easement, what can I do?

Once an easement is recorded, the restrictions are held in perpetuity.  It is the Forest Society’s policy to hold and enforce conservation easements as written; amendments may be authorized only under exceptional circumstances.  Any proposed amendment must be authorized by the Forest Society’s Board of Trustees as well as the Attorney General, and must meet the conditions outlined in our policy.  The publication Amending or Terminating Conservation Easements: Conforming