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.
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.
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.
This detailed checklist for managing conservation easement transactions is a good example of an easement project tracking document.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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. .
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.
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.
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.
This three page document created by Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is an outline of the guidelines WPC follows when purchasing land and conservation easements.
A detailed easement acquisition checklist for land trusts and conservancies based on best practices and real life experiences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.