Colorado

HB 1194 – Conservation Easement Transparency

Sponsored by: Rep. Kimmi Lewis (and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Sen. Vicki Marble in the Senate)
One of three bills "aimed at restricting the use of conservation easements to preserve vital lands in Colorado."

Short Summary

The bill would provide landowners various protections, including requiring public hearings prior to easement grants, placing a time limit on easements and allowing landowners to transfer or cancel a conservation easement if the land trust is dissolved.

General Description

“CONCERNING MEASURES TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF LANDOWNERS WHO CREATE CONSERVATION EASEMENTS ON THEIR PROPERTY.” [HB 1194, Colorado General Assembly]

Bill Sponsor(s)

Rep. Kimmi Lewis; Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg

Detailed Bill Summary 

This is a bill to “includ[e] required public hearings before easements are granted, limi[t] easements to 20 years rather than making them permanent, and allo[w] landowners to transfer or extinguish a conservation easement if the land trust is dissolved.” [Jeff Rice, “UPDATED: Conservation easement abuses targeted by House bill trio,” Journal-Advocate, 02/14/18]

Current Status

  • 03/15/18 – Postponed Indefinitely in House Committee on Health, Insurance & Environment. [Bill History for HB 1194, Colorado General Assembly]

Relevant Comments by Public Officials, Public Lands Groups, or Special Interest Groups in Colorado

  • The Summit County, Colorado Board of County Commissioners described this bill, along with HB 1122 and HB 1123, as being “aimed at restricting the use of conservation easements to preserve vital lands in Colorado.” [Work Session Meeting Minutes, Summit County Colorado, 03/13/18]
  • The Colorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited said that this bill, along with HB 1122 and HB 1194, would “bring an end to the Colorado Conservation Easement program that has been so valuable in protecting our rivers” and in particular HB 1194 ” restrict the length of conservation easements, destroying the conservation purpose of the program. [Colorado Conservation Easements Threatened, Trout Unlimited, accessed 05/22/18]
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