Conservation Law, P.C., Jessica E. Jay, Attorney at Law

 

Conservation Law, P.C. is a law firm devoted to protecting working landscapes and environmentally significant lands in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West through the use of perpetual conservation easements.

Jessica E. Jay, Esq., the founder and principal attorney of Conservation Law, P.C., represents landowners and easement holders to conserve land using durable but flexible perpetual conservation easements drafted to anticipate changes over time.  Jessica is dedicated to ensuring the permanence of such land conservation through sound conservation transactions with practical stewardship and enforcement mechanisms.  The first consultation is free; please feel free to contact Jessica E. Jay, Esq. at Conservation Law, P.C. by phone at 303-674-3709, or by email by clicking here.

DISCLAIMER:  The information provided here is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. 

 

Conservation Permanence through Legal Practice 

Jessica represents landowners in the protection of their land with perpetual conservation easements, most recently conserving urban wildlife habitat and a farm in the City of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and scenic, agricultural open space and wildlife habitat in the communities of Conifer, Evergreen, and Shawnee, Colorado.  She represents statewide, regional, and local land trusts including Colorado Open Lands, Aspen Valley Land Trust, Estes Valley Land Trust, and Clear Creek Land Conservancy, in their ongoing stewardship and perpetual conservation easement projects.  Jessica represents citizens defending against the conversion of perpetually conserved properties to non-conservation uses, like Save Open Space Denver's protection of the Park Hill GC property, a 155-acre parcel of land in Denver, Colorado. 

 

Conservation Innovation through Collaboration

In addition to the practical work of assisting landowners and easement holders to protect land through the use of flexible but durable perpetual conservation easements, Jessica also collaborates with the conservation community to innovate for landowners and easement holders regarding conservation tax incentives, stewardship and enforcement mechanisms, and the framework for modification and termination of perpetual conservation easements. She creates and publishes legal guidance for orphaned and neglected conservation easementsagricultural water rights leasing, and mineral rights and extraction on conserved properties

 

Shaping Conservation Policy and Law

Jessica’s expertise and perspective, shaped by decades of practice in land conservation law, informs courts, legislatures, regulators, and policymakers in the creation of conservation statutes, policies, and case law.  In 2019, she was nominated by the Colorado legislature to the HB 19-1264 Working Group to recommend legislation for the 2021 legislative session crafting processes for addressing orphaned and neglected easements, reparations to Colorado landowners denied tax credits, and alternative methodologies for analyzing and awarding conservation tax credits.  This lawmaking builds on the foundation of Jessica's policy guidance on these topics.

Click here to be connected to statutes and cases citing to Jessica's research.  Ms. Jay is a member of the Land Trust Alliance’s Conservation Defense Network, and has both served on and counseled the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council, which advises the Alliance on matters involving the enforcement, defense, and permanence of perpetual conservation easements. She has just published Part One and Part Two of Down the Rabbit Hole with the IRS' Challenge to Perpetual Conservation Easements in ELI's Environmental Law Reporter, February and March issues of 2021.

 

Recent Publications

Down the Rabbit Hole with the IRS' Challenge to Perpetual Conservation Easements, Part One, ELI's Environmental Law Reporter, February 2021

When the Internal Revenue Service began disallowing gifts of perpetual conservation easements for claimed failures of perpetuity requirements, it tumbled land trusts, landowners, and the U.S. Tax Court down the rabbit hole to a baffling land below. The Service’s drop into matters beyond valuation and into elements intended and necessary for easement durability and flexibility has caused a confusing array of Tax Court decisions. Part One of this two-part Article examines how the Service lures the land conservation community and the Tax Court into Wonderland distortions, and the precarious tower of cards upon which its legal theories rest.

Down the Rabbit Hole with the IRS' Challenge to Perpetual Conservation Easements, Part Two, ELI's Environmental Law Reporter, March 2021
 
Part Two of this two-part Article identifies the fundamental elements of law and the process of law to topple the Service’s card construct, and awaken and return everyone to the world above ground.
 

Upcoming Presentations

Land Trust Alliance, Webinar, March 2021

          •Federal Tax Law Update

Vermont Law School, Summer Course, June 2021

          •Land Conservation Law

National Land Trust Rally, Conference, October 2021

•Through the Looking Glass with Syndicated Conservation Transactions, Workshop, October 5

•Federal Tax Issues: Latest and Greatest, Workshop, October 7

•Down the Rabbit Hole with IRS Challenges to Perpetual Conservation Easements, Part II, Conservation Defense Meeting, October 27 

Keep It Colorado, Policy Update, COSA Conference, October 2021

•Colorado CE Enabling Act Updates and Changes, October 13

Vermont Law School Vermont Law Review Symposium: Balancing Corporate & Activist Interests: Clean Energy, Wildlife Protection, and Land Use Reform, November 2021

•Balancing Interests: Land Use Reform, Panel 3, November 5