What does the Land Trust consider when deciding whether to approve a conservation easement?
Before approving a conservation easement, the Board of Directors determines that the project meets the goals of the Trust, that protection will provide a significant public benefit and that the Trust is capable of carrying out the perpetual stewardship obligations.
Lands must have significant value in one or more of the following categories:
- Wetlands, floodplains, and riparian habitats necessary for the protection of water quality, fish, and wildlife.
- Active ranching, farming, or other productive agricultural use providing significant open space values and conforming with local government interest in maintaining agricultural uses of the land.
- Habitat for endangered, threatened, or rare species.
- Important wildlife habitat or migratory routes.
- Ecosystems that remain in relatively natural, undisturbed conditions.
- Historic lands or buildings.
- Open space that’s valuable to a community due to its proximity to developing areas or its prominent position in how people perceive their community.
- Properties of great scenic value to the general public.