Conservation Easements

A conservation easement is a non-possessory interest of a holder in real property imposing limitations or affirmative obligations for conservation purposes or to preserve the historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural aspects of real property.

Arizona allows businesses and individuals to grant conservation easements to governmental bodies and charitable corporations whose purpose  is to retain or protecting the natural, scenic or open space values of real property, assuring the availability of real property for agricultural, forest, recreational or open space use, protecting natural resources, maintaining or enhancing air or water quality or preserving the historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural aspects of real property.

The conservation easement must yield a significant public benefit by: (a) preserving land areas for outdoor recreation by, or the education of, the general public; or (b) protecting a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife or plants or similar ecosystem; or (c) preserving open space, including farmland and forest land, if the preservation is either: (i) for the scenic enjoyment of the general public or pursuant to a clearly delineated federal, state or local governmental conservation policy.

A conservation easement may be created, conveyed, recorded, assigned, released, modified, terminated or otherwise altered or affected in the same manner as other easements. A conservation easement is unlimited in duration unless the instrument creating it otherwise provides.

A conservation easement, or any assignment, release, modification, termination or other document altering or affecting a conservation easement, is only valid if recorded with the county recorder of the county in which any portion of the real property burdened by the conservation easement is located.See:

33-271 Definitions33-272 Creation, conveyance, acceptance and duration

33-273 Judicial actions33-274 Validity and assignment of conservation easements

33-275 Application of other laws33-276 Applicability