TNC's Use Of Conservation Easements Has Become A Win-Win For Landowners And Florida's Ecosystem

October 10, 2022   |   Conservation Easements

Conservation easements serve as the leading solution in protecting Florida's ecosystems. The Florida Panther is just one of the many species that has benefited from these projects.

The Nature Conservancy recently published an article about how the Florida Panther has been able to be protected thanks to the TNC’s conservation efforts. The article was a reminder of why SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler has been a big proponent of conservation easements over the last three decades. In the article, “Help Save the Florida Panther,” TNC highlights how collaboration with private landowners for the purchase of conservation easements has been key to preserving Florida’s ecosystem. We know that firsthand. On behalf of landowners, we often work with the TNC and the state to preserve land that, otherwise, could be turned into residential communities.

The TNC article highlights how conservation easements have been a huge “cornerstone” in its strategy to protect Florida’s ecosystem. That’s exactly what SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler’s co-founder Dean Saunders had in mind when he successfully lobbied for a conservation easement program during his tenure as a Florida House Representative in the 1990s. It was his idea, vision, and passion that persuaded Florida legislators to embrace his-envisioned conservation easement program. That strategy allows landowners to sell their property development rights while continuing to own and manage their land and retain the right to sell the land or pass it on to future generations. Dean engineered this program with the goal to protect ranchers' and growers’ property rights while conserving sensitive Florida land. Because there are many different types of easements, our company often works closely with landowners to help them determine the rule that will best govern their easement. One of our most recent conservation transactions in August consisted of the sale of nearly 4,000 acres for a conservation easement as part of a $56 million, 20,000-acre land acquisition by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The land is within the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a recently designated network of connected lands that are crucial for wildlife habitats.

About Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM

As an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) and a member of the Florida Legislature from 1992 to 1996, Dean spearheaded the action to establish the Green Swamp Land Authority. As a result of his efforts, the very first Florida state agency was created to purchase development rights from landowners. His work was instrumental in the successful passing of the law requiring Florida state agencies to purchase a specific number of conservation easements each and every year. Selling your land as a Florida conservation easement is recommended to real estate clients when the property has the qualified features, meets guidelines, and the landowner desires a way to keep the property from major development for generations to come.

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Conservation Easement Primer

Written by Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM
This book is written to give insight and answers to your questions about Florida conservation easements and other landowner rights. 
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