The Nature Conservancy’s conservation easement portfolio in California includes about 150 properties covering about 350,000 acres, and represents the diversity of nature and working landscapes across the state. Annual compliance monitoring is typically field-based, requiring significant staff and contractor time and costing the chapter approximately $500,000 per year. With the increased availability of high-quality airborne and satellite imagery and interpretation tools, we are reimagining our approach to annual monitoring, with the goals of improving quality and efficiency. In 2019, we are rapidly expanding our Remote Property Monitoring program (RPM) to detect land use changes, inspect properties in detail, and enhance and streamline field monitoring. With this new framework we have asked many questions, and started them. What are best practices that others have developed for remote property monitoring? Where do Land Trust Standards and Practices stand on this approach? What easement terms can be monitored remotely? Which properties should we monitor remotely? What are the benefits and drawbacks of monitoring remotely vs. in the field? How can we find and leverage free imagery? What is the cost of acquiring new imagery? Can this approach save money? Can this approach free up staff time to work on pressing conservation strategies? Please join use to hear what we have learned so far, to share your thoughts and experiences, and to help us forge this new approach.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center