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HeadWaters Land Conservancy Conservation Easement Stewardship Program

Conservation easements are forever. With each easement, HeadWaters Land Conservancy accepts the responsibility to protect the land and its conservation values into the future. The Conservation Easement Stewardship Program is designed to make sure that we meet our responsibility for each conservation easement annually. 

Components of the HeadWaters Land Conservancy Conservation Easement Stewardship Program

There are a number of specific components to the HeadWaters Land Conservancy Conservation Easement Stewardship Program. These include:

Each component of the program, discussed generally below, plays a critical role in making sure HWLC fulfills its obligations to our landowners and the lands they have placed in our care. 

Voluntary Compliance vs. Legal Enforcement

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. HeadWaters Land Conservancy is prepared to legally defend and enforce its easements when necessary.  Legal enforcement, however, is a remedy of last resort. Our program is most successful if compliance is voluntary. Therefore, we work in partnership with landowners—and the local communities in which our protected lands are located—to encourage voluntary compliance with the terms of our conservation easements whenever possible.

Working in Partnership

HeadWaters Land Conservancy recognizes that it cannot be successful without working in cooperation with the many landowners dedicated to protecting their lands through conservation easements. HWLC respects the commitment made by these landowners and is dedicated to working with them in a respectful and professional manner. In all of our stewardship activities, we strive to:


Our commitment to land preservation cannot be met unless we also manage our program to keep track of the status and condition of the lands protected by our conservation easements. Therefore, we also:


HeadWaters Land Conservancy has created a dedicated stewardship and enforcement fund to provide a long-term, ongoing source of income to cover the ongoing, long-term costs associated with monitoring and managing our portfolio of conservation easements. The fund is also available to cover extraordinary expenses associated with managing, upholding or defending an easement should its terms or validity be at risk.

Contributions to the stewardship fund are pooled from a number of sources, including landowners, and are managed to support all of the overall needs and obligations of HeadWaters Land Conservancy

HWLC strives to be as efficient and effective as possible in using these funds to support our ongoing stewardship activities. Contributions to the fund are always needed. 

Contact HeadWaters Land Conservancy for information on how to support our stewardship work.

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