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Conservation Easement Implementation Guides

A Professional's Guide to Conservation Easements

2004
Organizations/Sources: Georgia Land Trust and Chattowah Open Land Trust
A Continuing Education Workshop presented by Georgia Land Trust, this publication is a comprehensive overview of conservation easements and includes sample urban and agricultural easements.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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2555 times

A Report on Working Forest Conservation Easements

2000
Organizations/Sources: Nova Scotia Nature Trust
This report summarizes the different approaches and experiences of several land trusts in incorporating forestry into conservation easements. It compares these different approaches and and provides recommendations for the Nova Forest Alliance, including suggestions as to the expertise required on staff, the monitoring demands of working forest easements and how to address them, and the costs involved. It also reviews various guides and manuals for forest management practices, and recommends a set of non-intensive, uneven-aged forest management practices acceptable under a working forest conservation easement.
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Last Modified
Jul 25, 2011
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1959 times

Backup Grantees

Organizations/Sources: Land Trust Alliance
It is vital that every land trust consider what will happen to its assets if the organization ceases to exist or can no longer steward or administer its easements and land trusts should have a contingency plan for all of their easements in case of such events. One strategy is to include backup or contingency provisions in the easement. While there are variations on this practice, a backup or “executory” interest grantee is usually empowered to enforce an easement if the original grantee fails to do so, or to take over an easement if the original grantee can no longer manage it.
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Last Modified
Jul 25, 2011
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2078 times

Brandywine Conservancy Easement Project Checklist

Organizations/Sources: Brandywine Conservancy
This detailed checklist for managing conservation easement transactions is a good example of an easement project tracking document.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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2432 times

Conservation Easements: A Step by Step Guide

2001
Authors: Phil Auge and Frank Mitchell
This is a a step by step guide to the easement process in New Hampshire, guiding the user through meeting with the landowner and obtaining the required documentation.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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2302 times

Conservation Easement Violations: Results from a Study of Land Trusts

2000
Authors: Melissa Danskin
Organizations/Sources: Land Trust Alliance
In 1999, the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) conducted a Conservation Easement Study, a survey of land trusts that indicated in LTA’s 1998 National Land Trust Census that they either had experienced one or more easement violations or had amended a conservation easement. A follow up survey was sent to land trusts that LTA either knew or suspected had experienced major, litigated violations. The results of the study are presented in this article: types of violations, manners of resolving them, who they were committed by, and costs of resolution. The article is from LTA's journal "Exchange" can be obtained at LTA's Learning Center.
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Last Modified
Jul 25, 2011
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2305 times

Conservation Stewardship Transfer Fees

2011
This primer on using private transfer fees in New Hampshire, subtitled "The conservation gifts that keep on giving," explains the need for finding money to cover the long-term monitoring and enforcement obligations of conservation easement and fee land holders. It discusses the use of "Stewardship Transfer Fees" (built into a conservation easement) and "Stewardship Legacy Agreements" (a separate document) as revenue-generating mechanisms. 14 pages.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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2411 times

Cost-Effective Strategies for Conserving Private Land: An Economic Analysis for Land Trusts and Policy Makers

2002
This report examines ways of mitigating stewardship or transaction costs associated with conservation easements and recommends a methodology for predicting how much different provisions in conservation easements will cost to steward.
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Last Modified
Jul 25, 2011
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1725 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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2518 times

Determining Monitoring Costs and Stewardship Endowment Levels for Maine Working Forest Easements

2009
Authors: Jo D. Saffeir
This paper was prepared to provide a review of existing policies, practices and costs for monitoring conservation easements in northern New England, with specific attention to working forest conservation easements, and to provide guidance to the Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands on how to best determine the size of easement monitoring endowments for working forest conservation easements. It also includes a discussion of related policy issues and a proposed draft easement stewardship policy for consideration by the Bureau.
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Last Modified
Jul 25, 2011
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2757 times

Determining Stewardship Costs and Raising and Managing Dedicated Funds

2007
Organizations/Sources: Land Trust Alliance
Part of the Land Trust Alliance's Standards and Practices Curriculum, this course covers the costs and funding of land and conservation easement stewardship, and presents best practices in managing a land trust's financial assets and dedicated funds. The tools provided in this course will also help you establish or revise your land trust's financial and stewardship funding policies. It provides guidance and tools to implement practices 6F, 11A and 12A. .
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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2029 times

Ensuring the Promise of Conservation Easements: Report on the Use and Management of Conservation Easements

1999
Organizations/Sources: Bay Area Open Space Council
The Bay Area Open Space Council conducted a survey of easement holders in the San Francisco Bay Area, which focused on monitoring and enforcement activities. This report discusses the results of the study and includes a discussion of monitoring costs and recommendations for improving holders' stewardship programs.
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Last Modified
Jul 25, 2011
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1965 times

General Guidelines for Conservation Easement Projects

2011
Organizations/Sources: Brandywine Conservancy
This document was developed by Brandywine Conservancy to share with prospective landowners and explain the many important legal and financial issues that a prospective easement donor should consider.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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1994 times

Guidance on the Phasing of Conservation Easements for Colorado Entities

2005
Organizations/Sources: Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts
Describes planned phasing projects that can have the mutual benefits of achieving an organization’s conservation objectives while still maximizing the landowner’s financial goals.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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2089 times

Guidelines on Purchase of Land & Conservation Easements

Organizations/Sources: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
This three page document created by Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is an outline of the guidelines WPC follows when purchasing land and conservation easements.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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1882 times

Heritage Conservancy Acquisition Checklist

Organizations/Sources: Heritage Conservancy
A detailed easement acquisition checklist for land trusts and conservancies based on best practices and real life experiences.
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Last Modified
Oct 16, 2009
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1655 times

Land Protection Agreement Checklist

2005
This checklist describes the types of restrictions and conditions that could be included in a Land Protection Agreement. Not every item will be in every Agreement or will necessarily apply to all parts of a property. It depends on the property and the goals of the landowner and the Land Conservancy. The purpose of this checklist is to provide the background for a discussion between the landowner and the Land Conservancy about the possible terms of a Land Protection Agreement.
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Last Modified
Nov 04, 2015
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1943 times

Land Trust Standards and Practices

2017
Organizations/Sources: Land Trust Alliance
Land Trust Standards and Practices are the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust. First published in 1989, they were updated in 1993, 2001, 2004, and 2017. They are a collective product of the land trust community; more than 1600 comments were received from conservationists during preparation of the 2017 edition.
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Last Modified
Mar 20, 2017
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5198 times

Sharing Stewardship

Organizations/Sources: Pennsylvania Environmental Council
This Pennsylvania Environmental Council website is a freely accessible assessment resource for land conservation organizations. We hope this site will be of use to your organization, and encourage your participation in future development of the program.
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Last Modified
Nov 05, 2015
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1914 times

Steps for Creating a Conservation Easement

Organizations/Sources: Medina County Land Conservancy
Created by the Medina County Land Conservancy in Medina Ohio, this is a very basic list of steps for landowners interested in pursuing a conservation easement.
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Last Modified
Nov 05, 2015
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1856 times

Stewardship Endowment Sample

Worksheet used by the Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District to calculate the costs of stewardship of a conservation easement and the size of the endowment needed to support it.
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Last Modified
Jul 25, 2011
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1503 times