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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at

Conservation Easement Time Reduction Not Passed

The South Dakota House of Representatives defeated a measure that attempted to reduce the length of conservation easements. Supporters of the legislation say landowners enter into perpetual conservation easements to receive federal tax breaks, but are then limited to the future use of their land. House Bill 1183 reduced the length of conservation easements established after July 1st, 2014 to 99 years. Representative Jim Bolin says people shouldn’t enter into agreements that affect future generations.

“The land we occupy and own is only for a short time, that land is also finite in its amount. But currently, we have a situation where finite beings, each one of us, believe that we can make chronologically infinite decisions about a finite substance, that being land. That idea is false on its face, and that is what this bill seeks to change,” Bolin says.

Opponents of the bill say it could create unintended consequences for heirs of land, and that families can continue to use the land for the same purpose that was established under the easement. House Bill 1183 failed 17-51.Cons