1-19B-56.   Conservation easements

Definitions. Terms used in  1-19B-56 to 1-19B-60, inclusive, mean:

             (1)      "Conservation easement," a nonpossessory interest of a holder in real property imposing limitations or affirmative obligations the purposes of which include retaining or protecting natural or open-space values of real property, assuring its availability for agricultural, forest, recreational, or open-space use, protecting natural resources, maintaining or enhancing air or water quality, or preserving the historical, architectural, archaeological, paleontological or cultural aspects of real property;

             (2)      "Holder":

             (a)      A governmental body empowered to hold an interest in real property under the laws of this state or the United States; or

             (b)      A charitable corporation, charitable association or charitable trust, the purposes or powers of which include retaining or protecting the natural 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, paleontological, or cultural aspects of real property;

             (3)      "Third-party right of enforcement," a right provided in a conservation easement to enforce any of its terms granted to a governmental body, charitable corporation, charitable association, or charitable trust, which, although eligible to be a holder, is not a holder.

Source: SL 1984, ch 280,  1.

1-19B-57.   Conservation easement creation, modification, transfer, and termination.

A conservation easement may be created, conveyed, recorded, assigned, released, modified, terminated, or otherwise altered or affected in the same manner as other easements. The term of the conservation easement shall be established by the parties to the easement. No right or duty in favor of or against a holder and no right in favor of a person having a third-party right of enforcement arises under a conservation easement before its acceptance by the holder and recording the acceptance. An interest in real property in existence at the time a conservation easement is created is not impaired by it unless the owner of the interest is a party to the conservation easement or consents to it.

Source: SL 1984, ch 280,  2; SL 2005, ch 14,  1.

1-19B-58.   Actions affecting conservation easements.

An action affecting a conservation easement may be brought by:

             (1)      An owner of an interest in the real property burdened by the easement;

             (2)      A holder of the easement; or

             (3)      A person having a third-party right of enforcement.

     Sections 1-19B-56 to 1-19B-60, inclusive, do not affect the power of a court to modify or terminate a conservation easement according to the principles of law and equity.

Source: SL 1984, ch 280,  3.

1-19B-59.   Validity of conservation easements.

A conservation easement is valid even though:

             (1)      It is not appurtenant to an interest in real property;

             (2)      It can be or has been assigned to another holder;

             (3)      It is not of a character that has been recognized traditionally at common law;

             (4)      It imposes a negative burden;

             (5)      It imposes affirmative obligations upon the owner of an interest in the burdened property or upon the holder;

             (6)      The benefit does not touch or concern real property; or

             (7)      There is no privity of estate or of contract.

Source: SL 1984, ch 280,  4.

1-19B-60.   Application to conservation easements.

The provisions of  1-19B-56 to 1-19B-60, inclusive, apply to any interest created after July 1, 1984, which complies with  1-19B-56 to 1-19B-60, inclusive, whether designated as a conservation easement or as a covenant, equitable servitude, restriction, easement, or otherwise. The provisions of  1-19B-56 to 1-19B-60, inclusive, apply to any interest created before July 1, 1984, if it would have been enforceable had it been created after July 1, 1984, unless retroactive application contravenes the Constitution or laws of this state or the United States. The provisions of  1-19B-56 to 1-19B-60, inclusive, do not invalidate any interest, whether designated as a conservation or preservation easement or as a covenant, equitable servitude, restriction, easement, or otherwise, that is enforceable under other law of this state.

Source: SL 1984, ch 280,  5; SL 2009, ch 1,  98.