Agricultural Easements

The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC), the agency that administers the Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP), identifies agricultural conservation easements as a tool to assist in farmland preservation and advance conservation with willing landowners.

How it works

The SCC Agricultural Conservation Easement Policy outlines the process by which the SCC may partner with conservation districts to seek or support proposals that fund agricultural conservation easements.

If your conservation district would like the SCC to sponsor a proposal to preserve working agricultural land, please preview the Conservation District Easement Guidance below.

What are agricultural conservation easements?

  • Agricultural conservation easements are voluntary agreements that give landowners the option to sell their right to develop their agricultural property to another entity, such as a conservation district or land trust.
  • The agreement adds a permanent restriction on development and subdivision to the property title, and it provides a plan to protect the conservation values of the land.
  • Landowners are paid the portion of the property value that the development right represents and retain all other property rights.

Guidance and resources

We developed resources to assist conservation districts who are interested in partnering with the SCC on an agricultural conservation easement proposal (updated 2019). You can view the entire set of guidance and resources here, or you can view each by topic:

External resources for agricultural easements: