The Land Protection and Stewardship programs provide the foundation to advance Teton Regional Land Trust’s conservation mission. Working with willing landowners to acquire a conservation easement on private land is the first step to lasting protection and building partnerships. Once the conservation easement is in place, Teton Regional Land Trust ensures the integrity of each easement through the ongoing commitment of our Stewardship Program.
The Stewardship Program is governed by Board-adopted policies and procedures that integrate Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices to form the ethical and technical guiding principles of operation and our commitment to upholding the public trust. Teton Regional Land Trust pursues a system of Comprehensive Stewardship that incorporates two primary elements –Core Stewardship and Strategic Stewardship.
Core Stewardship responsibilities are those that directly support Land Protection activities and conservation easement administration. Important elements of the Land Trust’s Core Stewardship program include:
- Coordination with Land Protection staff to identify a property’s conservation values to inform easement terms.
- Baseline Documentation Reports - Comprehensive property descriptions that document conservation values protected by the easement and the relevant conditions of the property as necessary to monitor and enforce the easement.
- Easement Monitoring - Annual visit and assessment of each conservation easement for changes in conditions.
- Easement Enforcement and Defense - If needed, to maintain the purposes of the easement.
- Record-Keeping - File maintenance, updates and reporting.
- Landowner Relationships - Partnerships with landowners to provide relevant information and services that advance stewardship of the conservation easement property. Also includes processing requests to exercise reserved rights.
Strategic Stewardship includes community outreach and activities that enhance or restore conservation values of easement properties, increase the stewardship staff’s value to landowner and agency partners, strengthen the Land Trust’s landowner relationships and increase our credibility as a conservation organization. Important elements of the Land Trust’s Strategic Stewardship program include:
- Conservation Planning - Collaborative processes to identify key natural resource and agricultural values.
- Ecological Monitoring - Methods used to assess conservation impacts by measuring species diversity, abundance and production.
- Habitat Restoration - Returning degraded or altered habitat to a healthy, functioning condition that supports priority wildlife species.