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dc.contributor.authorDavis, George T.en_US

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.

dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjecteasement restrictionsen_US
dc.subjectscenic easementsen_US
dc.subjectconservation easementsen_US
dc.subjectblue ridge parkwayen_US
dc.subjectnational park serviceen_US
dc.subjecteasement violationen_US
dc.titleProtecting Scenic Views: Seventy Years of Managing and Enforcing Scenic Easements along the Blue Ridge Parkwayen_US
dc.contributor.departmentUrban Affairs and Planningen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Urban and Regional Planningen_US of Urban and Regional Planningen_US Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US Affairs and Planningen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairRichardson, Jesse J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRandolph, Johnen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGoldstein, Bruce E.en_US

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