Landowners who wish to protect their land permanently without giving up ownership may choose to place a Conservation Restriction on their property. A Conservation Restriction, or CR for short, is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner (the “Grantor”) and a qualified conservation organization, such as the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, The Trustees of Reservations, or Sudbury Valley Trustees, or a government entity, such as the Town of Carlisle (the “Grantee”).
Under the terms of a CR, the Grantor relinquishes certain development rights to the property forever, and gives the Grantee the right and responsibility to monitor the property and defend the terms of the CR. (In most other states, the CR is known as a “Conservation Easement.”) Under the CR, the land may be sold, bequeathed, or given to any party the owner chooses. The CR goes on record at the Registry of Deeds and becomes a permanent part of the property’s title, binding all future owners of the land. The public has no right to use the property unless the right is specifically granted in the CR.