You can continue living on your land, managing it – even selling it whenever you choose – by entering into a conservation easement. Conservation easements are individually tailored to the goals of each landowner. If you want to own your land and manage it as a working farm, or own your land and prevent future development, this could be a great option. Another option that allows you to continue living on your land is through a donation of life estate. With this option, you will be able to transfer ownership of real estate to the Conservancy while maintaining the right to use the property and buildings until the end of your and your spouse’s life.
The easement is signed by the landowner, who is the easement donor, and the Conservancy, who is the party receiving the easement. The Conservancy accepts the easement with understanding that it must enforce the terms of the easement in perpetuity. After the easement is signed, it is recorded with the County Register of Deeds and applies to all future owners of the land. The Conservancy will monitor the easement on an annual basis (See this document for information about conservation easement monitoring).