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Conservation easements are an essential tool for conserving private lands, and they have great potential for enhancing wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Private land conservation in the United States is likely to increase in the coming years, in light of Executive Order No. 14,008, issued by President Joseph Biden on January 27, 2021, which set a goal of conserving at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 (Executive Office of the President 2021). There is, therefore, a need to evaluate the effect of conservation easements on wildlife habitat and biodiversity and to make recommendations for further enhancing the effectiveness of easements. Herein we propose a shift from primarily negative clauses and restrictive language to a more affirmative approach, developing language to proactively improve management of properties under conservation easement in order to maximize benefits to wildlife and ecosystems. In addition, we identify areas for further research on landowner perceptions and experiences regarding conservation easements.



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