- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Land Trust has withdrawn its support from a bill that would allow conservation easements to be altered or lifted after a legal review because officials feel the legislation is too broad.

The organization had been reminded “how much our members care about the land we have protected and believe in the permanence of our easements,” Land Trust President Gil Livingston said.

The bill was opposed by experts who believe legal avenues already exist to amend easements. They also warned the change could cause some people to stop making donations for conservation easements.

“We now agree that the current bill is too broad, so we are working on changes that would greatly reduce its scope,” said Livingston. “We hope to share our suggestions in the next few weeks.”

Vermont Law School Professor John Echeverria, who opposed the bill, told Vermont Public Radio (https://bit.ly/1nxyJ6c ) he was pleased by the Land Trust’s change.

“It is wonderful that VLT is listening to its members and has abandoned its support for” the bill, said Echeverria. “… But when the Legislature turns back to the easement issue next year one can only hope, in light of VLT’s track record on this issue, that the Legislature will look beyond VLT for good ideas and advice.”

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Information from: WVPS-FM, https://www.vpr.net

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