Monday, December 14, 2009
The ACE Basin of the South Carolina Lowcountry--a land area surrounded by the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers--is one of the largest and best examples of the power of conservation easements. Established in an area that once boasted wealthy rice plantations that turned into some of the nation's most favored sites for the winter sporting life, the ACE Basin as a land use initiative celebrated its twentieth birthday today. Read more about this topic in an article by Bo Peterson, "ACE Basin at 20: A Public-Private Patchwork of Preserved Lands is Facing New Era of Threats," Post & Courier (Dec. 14, 2009).
Although most conservation easements in this part of the world have not faced litigation threats, this risk may increase as future owners find themselves subject to the easements and seek to challenge "dead hand" control. Although the original grantors of the easements felt tied to the land and wanted to protect it (a great expression of personhood theory for 1L property profs), the non-profits that hold the easements today have limited funds. Their ability to defend against challenges by future generations who may or may not share this attachment will depend on their resources, management decisions, and the willingness of courts to favor original intent and support conservation as a type of productive land use.
Photo notes: The Grove Plantation House, circa 1828, is one of only three antebellum houses in the ACE Basin to survive the Civil War. Former owners placed it on the National Register of Historic Places to help ensure its survival for future generations. It now houses the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Click here for more information about the house and here for a link to the Refuge's official brochure.
Will Cook, Charleston School of Law
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Josh Hightree on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jessica Shoemaker on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- What to make of the fierce new debate over the efficacy of California's energy codes?
- The W&L Top 100 Law Review Rankings and the Land Use Law Scholar
- CFP: 2015 Future of Places Conference (lead-in to Habitat III) in Stockholm: Deadline of April 15
- Water Down Under: A Report from Australia by Barbara Cosens: Post 7: Conjunctive Management Down Under
- Interior unveils final rule governing fracking regulations on public lands