Whether and how to allow gravel or other surface mineral extraction on conservation easement properties has long been a difficult challenge for easement drafting, particularly on working lands easements where a small on-ranch gravel source is considered necessary for agricultural and general land management purposes. Federal tax law prohibits “surface mining” of any kind for tax-deductible conservation easements, but whether this overarching statement is broad enough to include limited, localized, small non-commercial gravel extraction has been the source of significant debate in the land trust world. This session will review the available legal authorities, including statutory and regulatory provisions from the conservation easement context; case law on tax-deductible conservation easements from Great Northern Nekoosa through the recent Cattail Holdings, LLC, the varying approaches to minerals and surface interests taken under state laws, the interplay between surface mining and conservation purposes, surface mining as a pre-existing use and the recent IRS Chief Counsel memorandum. The Land Trust Alliance’s’s Practical Pointer on this issue will be explored in depth. With this background established, the session will introduce the broader landscape of land trust practices in this area, both historic and in response to current developments, and help land trust staff and their attorneys consider paths forward in the face of uncertainty.