Like the mantra of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, the new endeavors in land protection will be to Conserve, Redevelop, and Undevelop. This session focuses on land trusts as new social entrepreneurs shepherding the paradigm shift from large-scale, raw land protection to smaller-scale, focused repurposing of land and its uses. Presenters will share their experiences and examples of conserving, creating, and interconnecting people and land for public parks, gardens, trails, and agrarian commons; redeveloping, reimagining, and reinventing the already-built environment for new public purposes such as affordable housing, recreation, and gathering places; and undeveloping, recovering, and restoring developed, degraded, or polluted lands to support revitalized ecological and human systems. Participants will engage in interactive charrettes exploring hypothetical opportunities and applying new tools in these new endeavors.
Land trusts can and should tackle trespassers. Trespass is the fastest growing class of conservation easement violation and encroachment on fee land. Using a participatory format, presenters will address the legal bases for reaching violators who are not parties to the conservation easement, encroachers on fee land as well as apply practical and drafting lessons to their own situations. Attendees will take away sample easement language anticipating third party violations, lessons learned, and pertinent case and statutory law.
Conservation easements are a good tool for telling landowners what they can’t do, especially when it comes to the built environment: no houses, no roads, etc. However, when it comes to addressing what landowners should do (or even must do!) in regards to vegetation management, the limits of an easement becomes tested. Many land trust funders and easement holders are becoming more interested in the “performance” of private lands to meet certain societal goals such as climate change, organic farming or invasive species. In the eyes of many, it’s no longer enough just to keep land from being developed through a negative covenant. When we demand certain management regimes on private land through an easement, it stretches the legal and practical relationship between easement holder and private landowner. This session will explore the range of options for addressing the ephemeral nature of land/vegetation management in a perpetual document. Specifically it will address: the full spectrum of options for addressing how land is managed from the easement holder being completely at arms-length to the holder having affirmative rights to manage the property; the pros and cons of using a land management plan as the third leg of the stool in a conservation easement transaction (easement, baseline, management plan); and the long term implications for the land trust industry when we increase the expectations for the land trust role in directing or doing specific land management.