Model Documents

Coneflower, Belding Wildlife Management Area, Vernon, Photo Credit Gordon Paterson

Commencing with the Model Conservation Easement Project in 2014, the Connecticut Land Conservation Council is working to develop and maintain a library of model legal documents and accompanying commentaries to assist people and organizations in completing land conservation projects.

2014 Model Open Space Conservation Easement, revised as of December 28, 2016

The First Edition Model Conservation Easement, Introduction and accompanying Commentary, drafted in 2014, were the product of thorough research and scrutiny by legal professionals and other conservation practitioners. The commentary provides optional and alternative provisions as well as the reasoning behind each of the model's provisions and guidance in applying the model to particular circumstances.  

Update December 28, 2016:  The CLCC Model Conservation Easement and accompanying Commentary were revised as of December 28, 2016, and are posted below.  The main revision seeks to address the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) ongoing position that including an amendment provision may cause the easement to not meet the perpetuity requirement of IRS Code  §170(h), thereby possibly undermining a landowner's claim for a charitable deduction.  See Model Conservation Easement Section 17, page 16 and Commentary Section 17, pages 20-22.

Please review the changes carefully and always consult with your attorney when drafting a conservation easement and for other guidance. For more information contact CLCC Executive Director Amy B. Paterson at 

Click HERE for more background information regarding the IRS position on amendments.

Click HERE for the Land Trust Alliance's 2017 Update to the Amending Conservation Easements Report.

CLCC and the Model Conservation Easement Working Group welcome suggestions for improving the substance and format of the Model and Commentary. Please share potential optional and alternative provisions and identify issues in need of further investigation. Comments may be directed to CLCC Executive Director and Project Coordinator, Amy B. Paterson at 860-614-8537 or  

CLCC's 2014 Model Conservation Easement Project was made possible through the generous support of The Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation.

Model Conservation Easement Training Series workshop documents may be found HERE

2016 Conservation Modification Package -- a project of the Connecticut Attorney General's office with input from Attorneys Linda P. Francois, Keith Ainsworth, and CLCC Executive Director Amy Blaymore Paterson.  The 2016 Conservation Modification Package (broken up into three parts) is posted below. You will find a brief summary of procedure, sample pleadings from the Middlebury Land Trust cy pres action (not yet filed with the land records), sample pleadings from the CT DCF/City of Middletown cy pres action (which has been filed with the land records) and relevant law.  The AG's office plans on publishing guidelines.  Please check back for updates.  For any questions, please contact Assistant Attorney General Caitlin Calder at 860-808-5020.

Standards & Practices Template Policies/Sample Language

Templates may be found HERE.

2014 Model Agricultural Easement -- a project of the American Farmland Trust in partnership with the Connecticut Farmland Trust and the Connecticut Land Conservation Council.

Model Agricultural Easement documents may be found HERE.