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Print Versions of ConservationTools.org Guides

Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program

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
Apr 26, 2017
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2224 times

Agricultural Protection Zoning

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Agricultural Protection Zoning preserves the availability of agricultural lands for farming and thus the agricultural base of the community by constraining non-agricultural development and land uses in designated areas.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2017
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2278 times

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

2017
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
Apr 26, 2017
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2444 times

Amending and Restating Grants of Conservation Easement: Best Practices to Document Change

Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
If a land trust intends to amend a grant of conservation easement, implementation of the changes requires careful planning and drafting. The consequences of a poor execution range from missed opportunities to improve easement stewardship to inadvertent elimination of conservation protections.
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Last Modified
Apr 26, 2017
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1509 times

Amending Grants of Conservation Easement: Legal Considerations for Land Trusts

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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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Apr 28, 2017
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2268 times

An Introduction to Stewardship Funding Arrangements: Alternatives for Landowners to Help Holders Meet Conservation Easement Obligations

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) A landowner may agree to one or more funding arrangements that require the landowner or successive owners of an eased property to make one or more payments to the easement holder to support stewardship of the property. These arrangements may be customized to fit the stewardship demands created by the particular conservation easement and the financial circumstances of the owner.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2017
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4233 times

A Scientific Foundation for Shaping Riparian Buffer Protection Regulations

2014
Authors: Wesley R. Horner
(print edition of ConservationTools.org guide) Extensive scientific research documents that vegetated strips of land along water bodies provide extensive water quality and other environmental benefits. The science shows that development should be kept away from the water's edge, wider protected strips provide greater benefits, forested buffers are more effective than grassy ones, and forested buffers in headwaters provide the greatest benefits of all.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2017
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2059 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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3070 times

Biodiversity: A Guide

2012
Authors: Elana Richman
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Biodiversity encompasses the diversity of life – the varying and different species, genes, and ecosystems of the Earth. The ongoing loss of biodiversity threatens human well-being and makes the need for conservation ever more pressing.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2017
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1933 times

Bird Research and Conservation

2017
Authors: Nate Lotze
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Initiatives in Pennsylvania and on a national level promote the study of bird populations and the protection of their habitat.
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Apr 26, 2017
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249 times

Bridge Loans for Conservation Purchases: Borrowing from Revolving Loan Funds

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Low and no interest, short-term loans are available to help nonprofit organizations complete land and easement purchases for conservation purposes.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2017
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1939 times

Build-Out Analysis

2017
Authors: Patty Elkis and Nate Lotze
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A build-out analysis projects the development that could occur in an area under current law. It enables a community to test the reality of its development regulations against its vision for its future.
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May 24, 2017
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1618 times

Clean and Green: Pennsylvania's Preferential Tax Assessment Program

2017
Clean and Green, established by the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act, provides for lower property tax assessments of land capable of producing agricultural products and timber or providing open space for public use.
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Apr 26, 2017
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310 times

Closing: Finalizing the Real Estate Transaction

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
At closing, the transfer of the real estate interest, whether land or easement, is completed. This guide helps users organize and expedite the closing.
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Apr 27, 2017
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2656 times

Collaborative Opportunities for Land Trusts

2012
Authors: Nicole Faraguna
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Many types of collaborative approaches are available to help land trusts and others advance land conservation. This guide identifies opportunities for collaboration, provides guidance in structuring productive collaborations, and presents examples of successful organizational partnerships.
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Apr 27, 2017
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2451 times

Commission-Based Compensation Fundraising

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Commission-based compensation for fundraising by staff and consultants, although legal, is widely viewed as a bad practice for nonprofits.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2017
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2888 times

CommunityViz®

2017
Authors: Nate Lotze and Andrew M. Loza
CommunityViz® software enables users to see what different land use and development scenarios would look like if they were to actually occur. It allows users to create hypothetical scenarios and assess the economic, environmental, social, and visual impacts of those scenarios.
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Last Modified
Apr 26, 2017
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217 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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Apr 26, 2017
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268 times

Costs of Conservation Easement Stewardship: A Guide

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Apr 27, 2017
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2536 times

Costs of Due Diligence in Conservation Acquisitions

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Apr 27, 2017
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2732 times

Creating Sustainable Community Parks, 2nd Edition

2010
Authors: Jessica Sprajcar
Outlines the benefits of enhancing the natural resources in local parks and other landscapes, to maintain these areas in a sustainable manner, and to provide a step-by-step guide to help staff and volunteers achieve those results. It is directed primarily towards those charged with the design and maintenance of parklands, retail centers, housing developments, industrial parks, schools and other land uses, although the principles outlined in the book could also be used by individual homeowners.
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Apr 27, 2017
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3124 times

Donation by Will: Options and Issues Regarding Gifts of Cash, Land and Other Property

2017
Donors who want to help a worthy charity but also need to ensure that they have sufficient assests to live comfortably until life's end may choose to make some gifts via their wills.
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Apr 26, 2017
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315 times

Economic Benefits of Biodiversity

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Apr 27, 2017
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2596 times

Economic Benefits of Land Conservation: A Guide

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Apr 27, 2017
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1957 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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Sep 01, 2015
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2320 times

Economic Benefits of Smart Growth and Costs of Sprawl

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Apr 27, 2017
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2119 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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Apr 27, 2017
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2527 times

Environmental Advisory Council

2014
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A municipality's governing body may establish an environmental advisory council to advise the municipality's decision-makers and undertake projects regarding the protection and conservation of natural resources.
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Apr 27, 2017
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2115 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.
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Apr 26, 2017
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353 times

From Lawn to Meadow: Protect Water and Provide Habitat While Saving Money

2017
Authors: Nate Lotze
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Converting areas covered by turf grass to meadows can be financially rewarding and relatively simple on both public and private land. It can also deliver substantial environmental and aesthetic benefits.
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Apr 26, 2017
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187 times

Gift of a Future Interest in Real Estate: Reserved Life Estates Keep Owners in Control During Their Lifetimes

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Landowners can convey a future interest in real property to a conservation organization or government but continue to live on or otherwise enjoy using the property during their lifetimes. If the property ia a personal residence or a fiarm, a donation of a future interest can generate immediate tax benefits.
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Apr 27, 2017
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1291 times

Guide to the Conservation and Preservation Easements Act

2016
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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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Apr 27, 2017
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3132 times

Holders, Beneficiaries and Backup Grantees: Defining Roles and Relationships to Achieve Conservation Easement Objectives

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A conservation easement may have one or more holders responsible for upholding the easement’s conservation objectives. It may have a beneficiary, an entity with some rights to manage the easement in furtherance of the conservation objectives but no responsibility to do so. It may also provide a contingency plan to replace a holder in the event the holder cannot or will not perform its duties. Effective long-term easement management requires that when more than one entity shares easement management rights, the relationship between the entities must be carefully delineated.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2012 times

Impacts of Natural Land Loss on Water Quality

2012
Authors: Elana Richman
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Forests, riparian buffers, wetlands and other natural lands are essential for the protection of water quality and aquatic habitat.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2078 times

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

2014
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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
Apr 28, 2017
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2103 times

Installment Agreement

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
An installment agreement requires the buyer of real estate to pay the seller the purchase price in installments over time; the buyer takes immediate possession of the property but the seller retains legal title as security until the buyer pays in full. An installment agreement can be a low-cost, flexible alternative to a traditional mortgage loan.
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Apr 28, 2017
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1413 times

Invasive Species Management Program

2009
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Invasive species management programs help minimize the harm of invasive species on natural lands and encourage the health of native plants and wildlife.
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Apr 28, 2017
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869 times

Land Trust Accreditation

2017
Authors: Nate Lotze and Andrew M. Loza
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission offers outside verification that a land trust conforms with a key set of practices within Land Trust Standards and Practices. Accreditation is voluntary. A land trust should weigh the advantages of rigorous, external review against the opportunity costs of obtaining and maintaining accredited status.
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Last Modified
Apr 27, 2017
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198 times

Land Trust Merger Case Studies

2014
Authors: Nicole Faraguna
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
This guide describes the catalysts for exploring merger, the exploration and due diligence process, and the outcomes of several consolidations of land trusts with land trusts as well as land trusts with other charitable organizations.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2047 times

Land Trust Standards and Practices: Guidelines for the Responsible Operation of a Land Trust

2017
Authors: Nate Lotze and Andrew M. Loza
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
The Land Trust Standards and Practices are widely accepted ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust.
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Apr 27, 2017
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235 times

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

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Apr 28, 2017
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4327 times

Lobbying Rules and 501(c)3 Organizations

2012
Authors: Elana Richman
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
501(c)3 organizations can lobby to positively affect legislative outcomes but they must follow IRS regulations as well as state and federal regulations dealing with lobbyist registrations and reporting.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2340 times

Local Regulation for Historic Preservation

2011
Authors: John Snook and Andrew M. Loza
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Local municipal regulations can provide substantial protection to historic resources, preserving their contributions to cultural vitality and helping communities maintain quality of life.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2692 times

Management of the Document Preparation Process

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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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Apr 28, 2017
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2257 times

Merger: An Introduction for Conservation Organizations

2013
Authors: Nicole Faraguna
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A land trust may merge with another land trust or other conservation organization in order to more effectively advance the goals of each organization.
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Apr 28, 2017
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1774 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.
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Last Modified
Apr 26, 2017
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2543 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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2216 times

Mortgage Subordination

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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
Apr 28, 2017
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4354 times

Multi-Municipal Cooperation for Recreation and Parks

2006
This publication provides a foundation on the basic concepts of public recreation and parks services in Pennsylvania. It also covers the demographic, environmental, social and other issues that face our municipalities and impact the provision of recreation and parks services.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2576 times

Not a Charitable Trust: The Donated Conservation Easement in Pennsylvania

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) Little evidence exists to support the proposition that a donated conservation easement, in the absence of a charitable trust agreement (not to be confused with the grant of conservation easement), is a charitable trust in Pennsylvania; indeed, there is compelling evidence to the contrary. (Holder covenants may be used to buttress easements and do not run into the legal obstacles or suffer from the policy failings of the trust proposition.)
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Apr 28, 2017
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1335 times

Not a Public Trust: The Land Trust-Held Conservation Easement in Pennsylvania

2014
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
No legal precedent exists in Pennsylvania for finding that a conservation easement acquired by a private land trust is a public trust.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1680 times

Options to Sell

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
An option to sell may be used to assure that a property acquisition can be undone if expectations are not met.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
Viewed
1976 times

Outdoor Access and Programs

2015
Authors: Nicole Faraguna
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Land trusts have available to them a variety of tools and examples of how to improve public access and provide programming on their lands. By providing opportunities for outdoor experiences, land trusts help foster people's connections to nature and conservation.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1865 times

Pennsylvania Local Governments May Support Land Trusts

2015
Authors: Andrew M. Loza
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
In Pennsylvania, local governments may give money, land and easements to land trusts.
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Apr 28, 2017
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1131 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
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
Apr 28, 2017
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4386 times

Planning a Site Visit with Your Legislator

2013
Authors: Elana Richman
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A visit to a property conserved with a state grant may help a legislator better understand the impact of state conservation investments.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2074 times

Plant Stewardship Index

2009
Authors: Jeannine Vannais
Organizations/Sources: Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve
Plant Stewardship Index is a standardized assessment tool that calculates a numerical index reflecting the quality of native plant communities for a given area. It indicates the impacts of invasive plants and can also be used to monitor the efficacy of land management practices.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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873 times

Pledges and Donation Agreements

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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3276 times

Poll Results: The Public’s View of Conservation

2012
Authors: Elana Richman
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Across the political spectrum, voters consistently and strongly voice their support for land conservation and parks. Regardless of political affiliation and despite tough economic times, a strong majority of voters thinks funding for conservation and parks is important, even if it means paying more in taxes.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2234 times

Promoting Walking for Wellness

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Walking is a free, easily accessible activity that improves physical and mental health and connects people with the outdoors. A variety of resources exist for promoting walking.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1044 times

Property Tax Exemption for Preserves, Parks, Trails, and Other Conserved Lands

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Preserves, parks, trails, and other conserved lands in Pennsylvania are not automatically exempted from real estate taxes. If tax exemption is desired for a parcel, the charitable organization or local government must apply for exemption for that specific parcel. Exemption for one parcel does not guarantee exemption for others owned by the same entity.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1066 times

Public Access Policies and Practices for Land Trusts: Survey Results in Pennsylvania

2013
Authors: Nicole Faraguna
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association surveyed Pennsylvania land trusts regarding their organizational policies and practices as well as management issues encountered related to their fee-owned properties.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1785 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
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
Apr 28, 2017
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4925 times

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

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A purchase option is a right to purchase or lease land or other property interests without any obligation to do so.
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Apr 28, 2017
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2588 times

Realty Transfer Tax: Exclusions for Conservation-Related Transactions in Pennsylvania

2016
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Many conservation-related property transactions are excluded from having to pay state and local realty transfer taxes in Pennsylvania.
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Apr 28, 2017
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1503 times

Reducing Liability Associated with Public Access

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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
Apr 28, 2017
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3274 times

Reducing Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
(print edition of the ConservationTools.org guide) In Pennsylvania, death triggers a state inheritance tax on the distribution of the deceased person’s assets (called the “estate”) to the beneficiaries of the estate. Conservation restrictions on land included in the estate can reduce the inheritance tax owed. 4 pages.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2570 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
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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Apr 28, 2017
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2527 times

Restricted Gifts: Issues to Consider Before Making or Taking a Gift for a Specific Purpose

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A restricted gift of cash, land, easement or other property may only be used for a particular purpose rather than an organization’s general purposes. Both donor and donee need to be aware of the issues raised by limiting the use of a gift.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1023 times

Reversionary Interest

2012
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2664 times

Rights of First Purchase (Offer, Negotiation and Refusal)

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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3330 times

Riparian Buffer Protection Agreement

2011
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2607 times

Riparian Buffer Protection via Local Regulation: A Guide and Model Ordinance for Pennsylvania Municipalities

2014
Riparian buffers - forested or otherwise vegetated lands bordering water bodies - deliver tremendous water quality and other public benefits. Pennsylvania municipalities may ensure the protection and restoration of riparian buffers with their land use regulations.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2416 times

Steep Slope Ordinance

2010
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2947 times

Street and Sidewalk Design

2010
Authors: Katherine Ember
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2379 times

The Nature of the Conservation Easement and the Document Granting It

2014
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
By statute and by common law interpretation, a conservation easement is a real estate interest and is governed by real estate law, in particular, the law of servitudes. This guide analyzes the nature of the conservation easement and the operation of the document granting the easement. It includes discussion of the mechanisms that assist in upholding the easement's conservation objectives in perpetuity.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1583 times

The Official Map: A Handbook for Preserving and Providing Public Lands & Facilities

2011
The official map is a powerful planning tool for ensuring that land will be available where it is needed for roads, trails, parks, riparian buffers and other potential public infrastructure. The official map is authorized by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. This handbook is a guide for county and municipal leaders and planners who seek practical guidance in more effectively implementing land use plans.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
Viewed
8174 times

Traffic Calming

2011
Authors: Nicole Faraguna
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
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.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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2233 times

Trail Easements

2015
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A landowner may convey to another person the rights to create a trail, open it for public use and maintain it without the owner giving up ownership and enjoyment of the land through which the trail passes.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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1769 times

Urban Growth Boundary

2009
Authors: Mary Frey
Organizations/Sources: Lancaster County Planning Commission
Urban growth boundaries are used to contain land development by delineating areas where government policy encourages high density, mixed used development from areas where policy encourages rural and agricultural uses. Urban growth boundaries can promote prosperous urban areas and protect farmland and open space.
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
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824 times

What Is a Land Trust?

2017
Authors: Andrew M. Loza
Simply stated, a land trust is a charitable organization that acquires land or conservation easements, or that stewards land or easements, for conservation purposes. However, this simple definition leaves much to be explained.
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Last Modified
Apr 26, 2017
Viewed
242 times

Who Has Standing? Conservation Easements in Pennsylvania Courts

2013
Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Who can assert claims and be heard in Pennsylvania’s courts if a dispute heats up over the management of a conservation easement?
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Last Modified
Apr 28, 2017
Viewed
2556 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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Apr 26, 2017
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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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