Conservation easements would be a primary tool to protect waterways and would not take land off the tax rolls. Public ownership is not required to conserve water. Public ownership would be used only when private ownership with permanent conservation easements will not accomplish the conservation objective, i.e. when the location would also serve for a local park or wildlife area. Conservation easements are negotiated contracts from willing, voluntary landowners that permanently conserve property. Land is still privately owned, may be inherited, and bought or sold. The contract runs with the land in perpetuity. If you are a landowner, protecting land with a conservation easement offers a legacy that protects Tennessee’s waterways and natural beauty.