This session will discuss the risks and liabilities associated with land ownership. Whether it is the establishment of a public park or the stewardship of privately conserved land, we will look at the law regarding land ownership, the risks associated with different uses of the land, mitigation of risk and proactively dealing with the land trust's responsibilities as owner and steward. Utilizing the curriculum on Risk Management, specific case studies of actual land ownership issues and hypotheticals, we will discuss the inevitability of risk and weigh it with a realistic approach to handling risks faced by land trusts and, when applicable, its partners.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Colorado Convention Center Price: $120 LT Member/$135 Gen Admission
This seminar is intended to develop participants' ability to recognize and follow good practices to optimize environmental/ecosystem benefits of water rights in western land conservation transactions. The session will highlight current practices throughout the West, drawing from the experience of the panelists and participants. Building on this base, the seminar will develop participant's understanding of the practical and legal water issues that should be considered in a conservation transaction through participatory problem solving. Finally, practitioners will take home some simple yet comprehensive tools for good practices, including checklists and model conservation easement language.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Colorado Convention Center Price: $120 LT Member/$135 Gen Admission CLE: CLE
Wondering how to turn your land trust’s fee property into a platform for connecting to a larger community? The workshop will use Piedmont Environmental Council's (PEC) story of managing its “Roundabout Meadows’ property as a case study for engaging workshop participants in a discussion about the opportunities and challenges of managing fee lands for both conservation and community values. The case study will highlight how PEC, in the midst of restoring the natural resources and agricultural productivity of the property, is making an explicit effort to cultivate civic, educational, faith-based, social service, and other partners to create programming that showcases the public benefits of PEC’s mission to a broader community. Topics covered will include developing the plan, funding restoration, devising land management compatible leases, techniques for reaching out to new constituencies, and measuring success. Designed for land trusts with limited experience owning fee lands, this session will use Land Trust Standards and Practices and Community Conservation principles as guides for the PEC case study and discussion that ensues.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Colorado Convention Center
Restoration of pollinator habitats are occurring around the globe and the science is constantly identifying new ways to improve these efforts. Many initiatives have set goals of planting diverse meadows and gardens addressing the decline in available forage, but very few incorporate monitoring or direct management guidelines for pollinator populations. Pollinators are susceptible to fatal attacks from natural enemies (pathogens, predators, and parasitoids) that will reduce the effectiveness of conservation efforts. Audience members will learn about: bee and butterfly pollinator ecology; natural enemy prevention; management strategies and guidelines for wildlands and urban partners, and; measurements and metrics to monitor pollinator populations to ensure restoration efforts are successful.
Each year, land trusts, public entities and recreational organizations partner together to protect open space for the benefits of land protection and recreation, including hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, climbing, and paddling. The panel will provide expertise from land trust leaders and recreational organizations in public access acquisitions, risk management, resource protection, stewardship, policy, and community engagement. The presenters will share case studies of conservation projects that incorporate recreation and address the unique challenges of public access. These partnerships connect people to land and water, instill a love of natural places, and create active supporters and stewards.
Land trust activities are constantly changing to accommodate new challenges and issues, and it’s becoming increasingly important to develop and implement conservation activities that consider the challenges of a changing and uncertain climate. This fast-paced, dynamic workshop will lead participants through a five-step process to consider how climate change will affect their lands and conservation goals. This “climate change filter” will then be used to identify actions that enable forest ecosystems to adapt to changing conditions. The session will also identify strategies to engage woodland owner networks in these important stewardship activities, including climate change communication to key audiences and stakeholders.
When wildfire threatens, conserved lands can play a pivotal role in community safety, ecosystem services and the protection of natural resources. Within the residential-wildland interface, these benefits can be particularly important, but typically only occur with thoughtful attention to all four phases of a wildfire event: prevention, preparation, reaction and post-fire recovery. As in so much land-trust work, community engagement, cultivating key relationships, and taking the long view are essential. Two land trusts, the Santa Lucia Conservancy (California) and the Methow Conservancy (Washington) will share insights based on recent wildfires that impacted protected lands. The Santa Lucia Conservancy staff will share the challenges and key elements of a successful outcome when wildfire threatens protected lands (fee-owned and easement), and residential neighbors, as learned in the Soberanes Fire ( approximately 132,000 acres) in 2016 in California. The Methow Conservancy staff will explain the role the organization played in landscape and community response and recovery related to the Carlton Complex and Okanogan Complex fires (each approximately 250,000 acres) in 2014 and 2015 in Washington state. Participants will work together in guided small groups to develop a framework for their own land trust's fire plan, including what to expect - and who to call - when the embers start to fly.
Over the past 4 years, Sierra Foothill Conservancy (SFC) and Point Blue Conservation Science have developed a successful partnership to better inform management of privately owned lands in central California. As part of Point Blue’s statewide Rangeland Watershed Initiative (RWI), a team of partner biologists work hand-in-hand with Natural Resource Conservation Service conservationists and ranchers to facilitate the implementation of practices that benefit soil, water, air, plants and animals. Point Blue supports ranchers in the enhancement of carbon, water, and wildlife on California’s grazing lands. As a participant in the initiative, SFC has gained vital knowledge regarding the rangeland health of its preserves, which has been directly applied to inform an adaptive management plan. SFC and Point Blue have found mutual benefit in working collaboratively. The connection has widened our organizational networks, especially with private landowners. Numerous SFC Conservation Easements (CE) and prospective CEs are now enrolled in RWI, working with Point Blue and NRCS to enhance their grazing operations and resources. This partnership, has been instrumental to SFC’s ability to secure funding for prospective CE properties. Subsequently, the information gained from RWI can inform the landowner and SFC of resources that have the potential to attract funders for stewardship, research and acquisition opportunities. In the session, benefits of the partnership will be demonstrated, as well as methods employed to steward lands using birds as an indicator of habitat health, low-cost stewardship monitoring/adaptive management details, and funding mechanisms to assist in conservation planning and infrastructure. Real-world examples of using livestock as a management tool will be described, fostering Leopoldian Land Stewards, as well as recommendations and resources that other land trusts can use to initiate partnerships of a similar nature.
The goal of this panel is to help land trusts learn about the steps towards conserving working forest lands, the best practices for moving into this arena, and why and how forest certification plays a role. More land trusts are now considering working forest lands. What are the risks? Are there tools like certification that can help reduce the risk? These questions will all be addressed. Participants will hear experiences from four land trusts who have used forest certification as a tool to help monitor easements, communicate stewardship goals, create revenue, and craft easement language. Examples will include those land trusts with long-time experience, and land trusts using carbon markets to make revenue while they restore forests.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Colorado Convention Center
With a focus on Western water systems, the panel will address the challenges of and opportunities for land and water conservation in the Western US, including various initiatives meant to help balance completing interests in a future of increasingly scarce and variable water supplies. We will highlight a range of conservation and funding strategies and evaluate conservation easement language related to the pressures agricultural easements face with increasing demand for alternative uses of water.
The land trust movement has successfully protected millions of acres across the US, but for much of the landscape protection is not enough. The question is, how can we sustain and restore both protected and neighboring working lands in ways that benefit nature and support the people and communities that depend on them? This session will be a panel discussion focused on how land trusts can partner with ranchers to improve the biological, economic and community outcomes on grazing lands. Three organizations will present on what we are learning - both applied management practices and scientific findings - in the hopes that by sharing our experiences we can assist land trusts, ranchers, and other partners to work together to conserve, sustain and thrive.
With 80% of Americans living in cities healthy accessible local nature has never been more important. The Natural Areas Conservancy will present on three current projects that highlight cutting edge science-driven conservation planning and programming. We will present on our urban Forest Management Framework, recommendations for climate change adaptation, and a collaborative effort to develop goals for nature called New York City Nature Goals 2050. Natural Areas Conservancy’s mission is to restore and conserve NYC’s forests, wetlands, and coastal areas through data-driven land management, community engagement, and collaborative conservation.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Colorado Convention Center
There has been a major push to develop more renewable energy capacity throughout the US and internationally during the last decade. Much of this renewable energy is in the form of large wind farms (on land and offshore) and solar arrays. The question is: how should land trusts holding fee simple or easement lands react to proposals for locating renewable energy facilities while protecting the land trust resources like scenic areas and wildlife habitat? What happens if a facility is proposed adjacent to land trust lands?
This workshop will be specifically designed to review current renewable energy policy, incentives and regulation in the US; cover social and value perception issues, and provide some tools that land trusts can utilize to address such situations.
This special roundtable session is ideal for land stewardship staff and experienced volunteers. This peer learning opportunity provides time and space for you to discuss preserve management matters. Come meet colleagues, discuss common and emerging issues with fee land stewardship, share stories of preserve management issues you are facing, help solve problems, and celebrate successes. Be prepared to be inspired and to laugh with others! This is your chance to wrap up Rally with a roundtable session especially for people who devote time and energy to managing land for their land trust.