Before the implementation of conservation easements, access to private timberland was determined and controlled by the landowner. With the creation of large conservation easements, some of that control has shifted to non-profit organizations and government agencies. Frequently, easement deeds call for the landowner to grant public access for recreational activities. However, the effects of easements are not uniform. Understanding the impacts of particular conservation easements on recreational access requires examination of (1) land use and land tenure patterns before the implementation of the easement, (2) the specific details of easement provisions, and (3) how these have been interpreted and implemented since their creation.



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