In an effort to make conservation easements more farmer-friendly, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds and North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer introduced a new bill called the Landowner Easement Rights Act. The bill would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from entering into a conservation easement with a term of more than 50 years. “The current pre-1977 easements are perpetual,” said Cramer. “For owners who have one of those, it instructs the Department of Interior to provide the owner of the easement with a detailed map within six months. The Department previously took advantage of a farmer’s vulnerability, but the previous administration greatly improved mapping.” Now that the bill is introduced, Cramer said it needs more sponsors. It takes time for the bill to get the support it needs to pass the current Congress.
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