Easement Stewardship

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.

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

Does my easement restrict my ability to sell, convey by will, or give my land?

No, you may sell or convey your land to a different owner at any time at any price.  Conservation easements run with the land forever, so all future owners will be required to follow the easement terms.  We request that you notify your easement steward in writing at least 10 days before you transfer title, and many of easements require you to send written notice prior to transfer.

What are my responsibilities as a landowner with a conservation easement property?

As a conservation easement property owner, you are responsible for complying with the specific terms of the conservation easement on your property.  Although each conservation easement has different restrictions, in most cases you are responsible for at least the following:

When do I need to contact my regional stewardship manager?

If you are unsure if any activity is permitted by your easement or deed restriction, it’s always a good idea to contact your stewardship manager.  They can help you understand the language of your easement, and can explain what activities require notification.  Each conservation easement is unique, but at the very least, you should contact your steward before:

  • Conducting a commercial timber harvest
  • Building new structures
  • Exercising a reserved right
  • Transferring title or selling your property
  • Making any changes in management

Who is my regional stewardship manager?

Your regional stewardship manager will be assigned according to the town in which your property is located.  ocate your town on the Service Area map and use the color key to find your particular steward. Find out more about your easement steward on our Contacting Your Stewardship Manager page.