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Print Versions of ConservationTools.org Guides

Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program

(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program enables state and county governments to purchase conservation easements on productive farms. The easements protect the farmland from non-agricultural development.
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Last Modified
Feb 03, 2017
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1875 times

Agricultural Security Areas: Protecting Farms from Condemnation and Unreasonably Restrictive Ordinances

2017
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Within an agricultural security area (ASA), a farm is entitled to special protection from condemnation and laws and ordinances that would unreasonably restrict farming operations. Local governments in Pennsylvania may establish ASAs but only in response to petitions from landowners interested in enrolling their land in an ASA.
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Last Modified
Feb 08, 2017
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2190 times

Amending Grants of Conservation Easement: Legal Considerations for Land Trusts

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) This guide informs easement holders of legal matters to consider under Pennsylvania law and the Internal Revenue Code when making decisions regarding the amendment of grants of conservation easement.
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Last Modified
Aug 16, 2016
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2004 times

Authorization of Real Estate Transactions: Rules and Process for Nonprofits

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Within the bounds of state law and private standards of practice, a nonprofit organization has considerable flexibility in establishing policies and procedures regarding the authorization of real estate transactions.
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2880 times

Build-Out Analysis: A Guide

2009
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
print version of the ConservationTools.org guide: A build-out analysis projects the amount and location of development that may ultimately occur in a specified area as permitted by current land development ordinances. It enables a community to test the reality of its development regulations against its vision for its future. 6 pages
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Last Modified
Nov 06, 2013
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1363 times

Commission-Based Compensation Fundraising

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Commission-based compensation for fundraising by staff and consultants, although legal, is widely viewed as a bad practice for nonprofits. 8 pages
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2682 times

Cost of Community Services Studies

2017
Authors: Nate Lotze and Andrew M. Loza
Cost of Community Services studies examine both the tax revenues generated by different land uses and the costs to local government of providing services to those same uses. They help people understand the fiscal consequences of keeping land in agriculture or as open space versus developing land for other purposes.
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Last Modified
Feb 14, 2017
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88 times

Costs of Conservation Easement Stewardship: A Guide

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
print version of the ConservationTools.org guide: The holder of a conservation easement must monitor the eased property to confirm compliance with conservation restrictions and, when necessary, take action to uphold the conservation objectives of the easement. These and other stewardship activities result in costs, year in and year out, to the holder. 17 pages
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Last Modified
Apr 26, 2013
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2339 times

Costs of Due Diligence in Conservation Acquisitions

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) To responsibly accomplish a conservation easement or land acquisition, due diligence is necessary. This guide describes the costs incurred by land trusts and agricultural land preservation boards in completing surveys, baseline documentation, appraisals, title search and insurance, phase 1 environmental assessments and legal services in support of conservation acquisitions. 7 pages
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2452 times

Economic Benefits of Biodiversity

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Economic impact studies document the many and substantial economic benefits generated by biodiversity. This guide identifies major studies, summarizes key findings of each and provides hyperlinks to the studies. 7 pages
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2345 times

Economic Benefits of Land Conservation: A Guide

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
print version of the ConservationTools.org guide: The conservation of natural lands and of working farms and forests can generate financial returns, both to governments and individuals, and create significant cost savings. 34 pages
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Last Modified
Aug 27, 2013
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1740 times

Economic Benefits of Parks

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Economic impact studies document the many and substantial economic benefits generated by parks. This guide identifies major studies, summarizes key findings of each and provides hyperlinks to the studies. 11 pages
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2145 times

Economic Benefits of Smart Growth and Costs of Sprawl

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Sprawling patterns of development create heavy economic burdens -- problems, costs and liabilities far in excess of the benefits. Conversely, smart growth strategies can enhance economic vitality. 12 pages
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
Viewed
1933 times

Economic Benefits of Trails

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Economic impact studies document the many and substantial economic benefits generated by trails. This guide identifies major studies, summarizes key findings of each and provides hyperlinks to the studies. 14 pages
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2289 times

Farm Preservation Options for Landowners: Government and Private Approaches to Conservation Easements in Pennsylvania

2017
Authors: Andrew M. Loza
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Fifty-seven Pennsylvania counties have agricultural land preservation boards that purchase agricultural conservation easements. Sixty-five private charitable organizations accept donations of conservation easements or, less commonly, purchase them. These two paths to farmland preservation differ in many ways.(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide)
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Last Modified
Feb 15, 2017
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107 times

Guide to the Conservation and Preservation Easements Act

2016
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Conservation organizations can avoid many potential difficulties in conservation easement stewardship by ensuring that their conservation easement documents are drafted to conform with the Conservation and Preservation Easements Act.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2016
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2868 times

Impacts of Natural Land Loss on Water Quality

2012
Authors: Elana Richman
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Forests, riparian buffers, wetlands and other natural lands are essential for the protection of water quality and aquatic habitat. 13 pages
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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1870 times

Indemnity Agreements and Liability Insurance: Protection From Claims Brought by Third Parties

2014
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) An individual or organization’s risk of being held liable for personal injury or property damage may be shifted to another party who agrees to accept the risk and who holds liability insurance or sufficient assets to back up the acceptance of the risk. A release agreement guards against a successful lawsuit by the person signing the release; an indemnity agreement, in contrast, ensures that if some other person sues, the indemnifying party will be responsible for handling the claim.
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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1909 times

Legal Considerations for Stewardship Funding Arrangements: Binding Present and Future Landowners to Present Promises

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) A landowner may agree to one or more funding arrangements that require the landowner or successor owners of an eased property to make one or more payments to the easement holder to support stewardship of the property. An understanding of what makes promises binding is critical for crafting arrangements that are enforceable over time. 19 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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4106 times

Local Regulation for Historic Preservation

2011
Authors: John Snook and Andrew M. Loza
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Local municipal regulations can provide substantial protection to historic resources, preserving their contributions to cultural vitality and helping communities maintain quality of life. 35 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2478 times

Management of the Document Preparation Process

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) When a document needs to be reviewed, edited and approved by more than one person, good document management and control practices help prevent time-consuming missteps and confusion for all the parties involved.
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2068 times

Model Conservation Easement

2017
Authors: Andrew M. Loza and Nate Lotze
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
The Model Grant of Conservation Easement and Declaration of Covenants with Commentary provides users with a state-of-the-art legal document and guidance to customize it to nearly any situation. No easement document has benefited from more real-world testing and peer review. (print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide)
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Last Modified
Feb 24, 2017
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2224 times

Model Legal Documents

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association maintains a suite of model legal documents to help implement conservation transactions and other conservation-related activities. The accompanying commentaries contain alternative and optional provisions and explain the reasoning behind it all. 8 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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2055 times

Mortgage Subordination

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) When a mortgage precedes an easement on a property, there is no guaranty of perpetual enforceability of the easement unless the mortgage holder signs a document (sometimes called a "mortgage subordination") that allows the easement to survive a foreclosure of the mortgage. While not easy or quick to obtain, careful preparation that addresses the concerns of the mortgage holder can expedite the process.
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Last Modified
Sep 01, 2015
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4150 times

Pennsylvania's Recreational Use of Land and Water Act: Statutory Protection for Property Owners Who Open Their Land to the Public

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Pennsylvania’s Recreational Use of Land and Water Act limits the liability, resulting from personal injury or property damage, of landowners who make their land available to the public for recreation free of charge.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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4079 times

Pledges and Donation Agreements

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Before investing time and money in a prospective project, a conservation organization may seek to minimize the potential for misunderstandings with the prospective donor for the project and make the donor’s promise to support the project a legally binding obligation. 14 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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3020 times

Public Dedication of Land and Fees-in-Lieu for Parks and Recreation: A Tool for Meeting Recreational Demands in Pennsylvania Municipalities

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Municipalities may require developers to provide parkland for new developments. They may also offer developers the option to instead pay fees, construct facilities or establish private parkland. This is the 2nd edition (2015) of a guide first published in 2008. It addresses changes made to the law in 2014 to give municipalities greater flexibility.
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Last Modified
Nov 26, 2016
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4622 times

Purchase Options: Gaining the Right Without the Obligation to Acquire Property Interests

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) A purchase option is a right to purchase or lease land or other property interests without any obligation to do so. 15 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2391 times

Reducing Liability Associated with Public Access

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Public access to property for recreational uses – such as hiking, bird watching, fishing and hunting – raises concern about the possibility of liability on account of injury to a recreational user. Pennsylvania law provides some protection from liability associated with public use of property for recreational purposes. Also there are practical steps that can be taken to minimize risk of liability.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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3083 times

Release of Liability: A Tool for Managing the Risk of a Volunteer or Participant in an Activity Suing the Activity’s Organizer or Host

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) The risk of being held responsible for injuries or property damage associated with organizing volunteer, educational, recreational and other events and activities (or opening up property for the same) may be avoided or minimized by having those who wish to participate sign a release agreement. This risk reduction tool, one of many risk management strategies, is the subject of this guide.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2343 times

Reversionary Interest

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) A landowner who is concerned about the future use of his land can donate or sell the land on a conditional rather than absolute basis. A reversionary interest is created by a deed that reserves to the grantor a future ownership right upon the occurrence of some condition. 7 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2444 times

Rights of First Purchase (Offer, Negotiation and Refusal)

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) A right of first purchase gives a potential purchaser the opportunity to purchase before a property is sold to another. It can be a right of first offer, a right of first negotiation, a right of first refusal or a combination of these rights. 8 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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3059 times

Riparian Buffer Protection Agreement

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) A riparian buffer protection agreement limits activities on all or a portion of a property to advance conservation purposes while keeping the property in the control of the landowner. 13 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2364 times

Steep Slope Ordinance

2010
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Zoning regulations for development on and disturbance of steep slopes can prevent erosion and reduce the risk of landslides that endanger lives, damage property and infrastructure, harm water quality, and degrade wildlife habitat. These regulations can also preserve the aesthetic character of visually prominent hillsides by discouraging vegetative clearing and excessive earthwork to accommodate development. 18 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2759 times

Street and Sidewalk Design

2010
Authors: Katherine Ember
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Good street and sidewalk design can foster healthier communities by improving public safety, enhancing mobility by fairly supporting all transportation choices, reducing environmental impacts and building community character. 16 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2194 times

Traffic Calming

2011
Authors: Nicole Faraguna
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Traffic-calming incorporates a variety of design and management strategies in local streetscapes to control volume and speed of traffic for the safety of both motorists and non-motorists. 30 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2028 times

Why Preserve Farmland?

2017
Authors: Nate Lotze and Andrew M. Loza
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Farms feed us and provide a host of other public benefits. However, every day the amount of fertile farmland diminishes as development spreads. This guide describes the importance of preserving productive agricultural lands.
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Last Modified
Jan 20, 2017
Viewed
274 times

Zoning for Non-Commercial Solar and Wind Systems

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Municipalities may adopt zoning regulations governing the installation and operation of solar and wind energy systems. This guide specifically examines zoning for non-commercial installations (for example, residential rooftop solar panels). 20 pages.
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Last Modified
Sep 02, 2015
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2138 times