NWRS Conservation Easements


Target Audience: 

Project leaders, refuge managers, planners, realty specialists, law enforcement officers, and all others who play a role in the planning, acquisition, management, and enforcement of National Wildlife Refuge System conservation easements.  

Summary and Objectives: 

A significant portion of the wildlife habitat in the continental U.S. is privately owned. Conservation easements are a valuable tool for protecting working landscapes and habitat values on private land for our trust resources. This 1-week course provides an overview of the planning, acquisition, management, and enforcement of conservation easements. Emphasis is on easements the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquires as a part of the NWRS. Course goals include increasing consistency and building understanding and cooperation among Service personnel involved in conservation easements.  

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:  

  • Determine if a  conservation easement conservation easement
    A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a government agency or qualified conservation organization that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on a property in the future. Conservation easements aim to protect habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife by limiting residential, industrial or commercial development. Contracts may prohibit alteration of the natural topography, conversion of native grassland to cropland, drainage of wetland and establishment of game farms. Easement land remains in private ownership.

    Learn more about conservation easement
     is the appropriate tool. 
  • Make strategic, science-driven, collaborative, and adaptive choices. 
  • Engage with potential sellers, communities, and potential partners. 
  • Acquire conservation easements in accordance with Service policy. 
  • Develop and maintain working relationships with landowners/communities. 
  • Effectively manage conservation easements and their uses. 
  • Ensure U.S. interests in the land are protected.  

Competency Addressed: 

Project Management - Basic, Landscape Ecology - Basic, Lands and Realty Management - Basic, Compliance Management – Basic 

Course Short Name
Course Type
Course Category
Training Tuition Cost
36.0 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours

Questions and Registration


*DOI PIV card holders may use the button above to register for courses directly in DOI Talent. If you are not affiliated with DOI, follow instructions for External, Non-DOI learners to obtain an account. Need help for registration, contact session contact.