1675 Broadway, Suite 2300
Denver, Colorado 80202
Telephone: (303) 825-7000
Fax: (303) 825-7005

Bill Silberstein earned a bachelor’s degree in conservation and focused his law education on environmental issues.  Within a year of graduation, he was working on his first conservation easement. In the ensuing 30 years, Mr. Silberstein has built a land conservation practice that has a national reputation for excellence.  He has represented landowners and conservation organizations in hundreds of conservation easement transactions and in over 30 IRS audits of conservation easements.  Mr. Silberstein helped the Forbes family create a conservation easement for half of its ranch in the San Luis Valley.  Over 80,000 acres were included in the easement, the largest in Colorado.

Conservation is only one facet, however, of Mr. Silberstein’s practice.  He represents clients in a wide variety of real estate developments, purchases, sales, leasing and financing transactions for ski resorts, office buildings, hotel properties, shopping centers, farms, ranches and rural recreational properties.  He has served as developers' counsel for many brownfield developments and transit oriented developments. He has been involved in the acquisition, development, financing, and leasing of many retail shopping centers throughout the Rocky Mountain states.

The breadth of his practice allows Mr. Silberstein to assist property owners who are pursuing either development or preservation objectives.  He helps clients achieve an appropriate balance between development and conservation that is sensitive to economic development in the region and quality of life that is so important to the regional economy.  His practice recognizes that time is of the essence when working with either development or conservation, and from his 30 years of practice understands the complexity of planning several steps ahead in preparing a comprehensive strategy to achieve his clients’ objectives.

Bill is counsel to Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, as well as a frequent lecturer and author on conservation easements and protective developments.

Recent Publications and Seminars


  • “Landlords, Tenants and LEED® . . . What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been,” U.S. Green Building Council (2011)
  •  “Conservation  Easements: Preserving Your Land for Future Generations” (2010)
  • “Developing a LEED® Certified Workspace — 10 Lessons Learned” (2010)
  • “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs” (2010)
  •  “Open Space Chapter 16, Environmental Regulation of Colorado Real Property,” Stephen A. Bain, ed., Bradford Publishing (2007)
  • “Easement Audits in Colorado: What Can We Learn from Them?" Exchange: The Journal of the Land Trust Alliance, (Summer 2007)
  • "Land Trust Ethics," Exchange: The Journal of the Land Trust Alliance, (Winter 2004)


  • “Internal Revenue Service: A Discussion on Recent Case Law: Recent Court Decisions on Conservation Easements,” CCLT Conservation Excellence Conference (2011)
  • “IRS, Tax Court and Difficult Tax Questions,” CLE International at the Second Symposium on Advanced Legal Topics in Land Conservation (2011)
  • “IRS Audits of Conservation Easements,” Land Trust Alliance National Land Conservation Conference:  Rally 2010
  • “Conservation Easement Drafting Session,” CLE International (2010)
  • “The Changing Landscape of Conservation Easements,”  through the Department of Regulatory Agencies, Colorado Division of Real Estate (2010)
  • “Tales of the Battle with the Internal Revenue Service,” 19th Annual RMLUI Land Use Conference (2010)
  • “Lessons Learned in IRS Audits of Colorado Conservation Easement Donors,” Land Trust Alliance National Land Conservation Conference:  Rally 2009
  • “The Nature of What is Being Challenged by the IRS,” CLE International (2009)
  • “Update on IRS Audits of Conservation Easements,” CCLT 2009 Conservation Policy Conference
  • “Conservation Easement Basics,” Colorado Bar Association Real Estate Section Topical Lunch (2008)
  •  “Lessons Learned from the IRS in Colorado,” Land Trust Alliance National Land Conservation Conference:  Rally 2008
  • “Eminent Domain and Conservation Easements,” presented to CLE International, August 7-8, 2008; Denver, Colorado
  • “IRS Conservation Easement Audits in Colorado—an Update,” presented to Southwest Land Trust Conference, Land Trust Alliance (2008)
  • “Conservation Easements:  Conceptualizing and Drafting, Pending IRS Audits, and Pitfalls Galore,” ALI ABA (2008)
  • “Conservation Lawyer’s Perspective:  Navigating the Field,” CLE International (2008)

Education and Clerkships

  • University of Colorado Law School J.D. (1980)
  • University of Colorado Boulder B.A. (1975)

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (Pro-bono Counsel)
  • Board of Directors of the Land Trust Alliance (Past-member)
  • Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee
  • Member Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Committee
  • Member Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Council