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Conservation Restriction Review Program

Find details on the Conservation Restriction (CR) Review Program, including the DCS Model CR and Application and links to other resources you may find helpful in preparing your CR.

Conservation Restrictions are legal agreements that prohibit certain acts and uses, while allowing others, on private or municipally-owned property in order to permanently protect conservation values present on the land. The Conservation Restriction Review Program reviews CRs for the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, who must approve of the CR in the public interest in order for it to be a permanent restriction, pursuant to the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws (Ch. 184 Sec. 31-33).


  • Conservation Restrictions (CRs) may be granted by public or private land owners to qualified organizations. The landowner granting the CR is the “Grantor”.
  • Organizations qualified to hold CRs (the “Grantee”) include governmental units (e.g., Conservation Commissions or Water Supply Divisions) and non-profit organizations whose purposes include conservation of land or water (e.g., a land trust/conservancy or other conservation organization). CRs may “co-held” by more than one grantee.
  • The Grantor and Grantee may not be the same entity, nor may they be divisions of the same entity (e.g., a Select Board and Conservation Commission of the same town).

To Submit a CR For Review

  1. Download and complete the DCS CR Application Form (link below)
  2. E-mail the application form, draft CR, and required attachments (see ‘Attachments’ section of the application form) to and Once your complete submission is received, we will email an acknowledgement letter.
  3. Review the “CR Review Process – General Outline” document (below) for details on the review process.



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