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Easing Conflict Around Conservation Easements

An expert panel discusses the issues on Friday, Nov. 15 at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown.

Preserved farmland in 18-mile square Holmdel Township.
Preserved farmland in 18-mile square Holmdel Township.

A panel of experts will explore the thorny side of conservation easements at an information session planned for Friday, Nov. 15 at Deep Cut Gardens Horticultural Center, 152 Red Hill Road in Middletown from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Conservation easements are legally binding agreements that protect land and its related resources (like water, animal migration routes, and even burial grounds) for future generations, while allowing the land to be retained in private ownership.

This forum will address how to deal with encroachment or violation issues, and how to handle an easement amendment to resolve an issue. 

"The reason we're doing is because easements are good, but they also require a lot of effort to maintain," said Bill Kastning, executive director of the non-profit Monmouth Conservation Foundation, a co-host of the program. Municipalities and non-profit organizations need to be aware of how to protect easements they hold, and how to handle required amendments, he said. 

"We do have some local issues where easement amendments have been requested," said Kastning. "Some of these are legitimate, and some of them require some thought whether they should be allowed." 

The program is hosted by Monmouth County’s Greentable, with the New Jersey Land Trust Network, the Monmouth County Park System and the County Planning Board. 

Participating in the discussion will be a representative from the Land Trust Alliance and attorneys with Coughlin, Duffy LLP and the Green Acres Program.

To reserve a seat at the Monmouth County Greentable, contact Bill Kastning at the Monmouth Conservation Foundation, by phone at 732-671-7000 or by email at wkastning@monmouthconservation.org. The program is open to all. 

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