Protecting Scenic Views: Seventy Years of Managing and Enforcing Scenic Easements along the Blue Ridge Parkway
MetadataShow full item record
Conservation easements are among the fastest growing techniques for protecting land and open space. Conservation easements are legal agreements between a landowner and a conservation organization that limits or restricts entirely the right to develop a property in order to protect important conservation values associated with the property.
At the heart of the conservation easement movement is the assumption that easements will protect ecologically important lands in perpetuity. However, there is little evidence that conservation easements can protect land permanently. Very few land trusts have experience in dealing with the myriad of challenges associated with long-term enforcement of conservation easements. This study sought to examine scenic easements acquired for the Blue Ridge Parkway in the 1930â s and 40â s and to develop an understanding of the challenges faced by the Parkway in attempting to enforce the terms of scenic easements drafted nearly 70 years ago.
The scenic easements acquired for the Blue Ridge Parkways represent the first wide spread use of conservation easements in the country. The Parkwayâ s early architects had few examples of easement programs to assist them in acquiring and managing these early forms of conservation easement nor did the NPS have the network of conservation organizations that exists today.
This study reviews the process utilized by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of North Carolina to acquire scenic easements for the Blue Ridge Parkway and assesses the deeds used to convey the scenic easements from the states to the federal government. Further, this study evaluates and examines the number and types of violations of easement terms experienced by the Parkway and the various factors that may have contributed to violations of scenic easement restrictions and requests to alter/amend easements. This study also evaluates the various strategies used by the National Park Service to exchange and release scenic easements. Finally, this study concludes with a number of recommendations for improving the management of the Parkwayâ s scenic easements and how organizations currently holding conservations can improve the stewardship of easements by incorporating adaptive management principles into their conservation easement stewardship programs.
- Masters Theses 
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
US GovernmentThe Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary program. It provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to restore, enhance, and protect wetlands. Landowners have the option of enrolling eligible ...
A Survey of Conservation Easement Restrictions on Private Forest Land to Determine their Effects on Forest Management and Timber Supply. Huff, Jeffrey Scott (Virginia Tech, 2004-05-04)Conservation easements are increasingly becoming a popular land use control for landowners, government agencies and non-profit conservation organizations. These legal documents restrict a landownerâ s development rights ...
Delta WaterfowlIn order to protect waterfowl breeding habitat, Delta Waterfowl began the Adopt A Pothole Program to protect wetlands on prairie grain farms. Those interested in participating in the program sign perpetual leases protecting ...