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For Districts - Conservation Easement Guidance

Under NC General Statue 139, NC soil and water conservation districts are given authority to own property and hold conservation easements. The information that is assembled below is intended to serve as a resource for districts that are working on conservation easement projects; this material is meant as a starting reference point and districts are encouraged to contact resource professionals for additional information and support.

Special Revenue Funds for Maintenance of Soil and Water Conservation Easements

In 2011, the NC General Assembly modified General Statue 139 to include provisions for districts to establish and maintain a special revenue fund for the purpose of maintaining conservation easements. NC General Statue Chapter 139-7.1 spells out the uses and requirements associated with establishing and managing these funds.

To establish a special revenue fund, the governing body of a soil and water conservation district must adopt a resolution or ordinance. A sample resolution for districts use is available here.

North Carolina Conservation Tax Credit Program

NC has a unique tax incentive that helps landowners protect the environment. The state recognizes the importance of land conservation to its economy, and offers a tax credit program to promote conservation of ecosystem functions (fish and wildlife conservation and conservation of natural areas), ecosystem services (farmland conservation), and other public benefits (public access to public trails, waters, and beaches).

More information on the NC Conservation Tax Credit Program is available on the website - this may be useful to share with landowners that are interested in conservation easements.

NCASWCD Working Lands Preservation Resource Manual

An accumulation of material gathered from various conservation partners has been assembled for district reference. This manual has been presented by the NC Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, with funding from Altria Group, NC Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation, Inc., NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and Conservation Trust for NC.

A hard-copy of the manual has been distributed and is available in every district office in the state. The manual includes information as detailed in the following sections. If your district would like a copy of the materials on CD, please contact Kristina Fischer at


NCDA&CS Division of Soil & Water Conservation, Vernon Cox, Director
Mailing Address: 1614 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1614
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh North Carolina 27603
Phone: 919.707.3770

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