Recent Blogs

Why Land Trusts Should Carry Directors and Officers Insurance

Land trusts, and especially smaller land trusts, often ponder whether they should purchase Directors & Officers Insurance (D&O Insurance).  For those land trusts asking this question, there is really one answer: Yes.  The following brief post explains why D&O insurance is always a good bet, suggests some additional risk management strategies and contains a link […]

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Book Review: “Conservation Easements: Tax and Real Estate Planning for Landowners and Advisors”

The mainstay of publications on conservation easements has long been the second edition of the “The Conservation Easement Handbook,” authored by Elizabeth Byers and Karin Marchetti Ponte and jointly published by the Land Trust Alliance and The Trust for Public Land in 2005 (the “Handbook”).  As of 2011 there is another substantial work on conservation […]

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What Does the Koontz Case Mean for Land Trusts?

GUEST POST BY: Tamara Galanter and Fran Layton, Shute Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, San Francisco, CA In an important decision for land trusts, the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District marks a significant change in “takings” law that merits close and deliberate attention to the way […]

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Free Market Environmentalism: Using Land-Based Conservation Easements as a Model for Marine Conservation Easements

GUEST POST BY: Daniel B. Zummo, LL.M., University of Oregon School of Law, J.D., Thomas Jefferson School of Law 1.      Introduction One of the newest instruments used by environmentalists to protect land in the United States is the conservation easement.  Easements have been instrumental in preserving rural and agricultural landscapes, from family farms to working ranches and […]

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Selected Bibliography of Conservation Easement Scholarship by Professor Jessica Owley

This post is a selected bibliography of Professor Jessica Owley’s recent scholarship pertaining to conservation easements, with a focus on exacted conservation easements.  All of the abstracts and links to the articles have been or soon will be distributed on the SSRN eJournal “Protected Lands Law & Policy.”  Clicking on the links below will allow […]

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New Conservation Easement Scholarship by Professor Jessica Owley

Professor of Law at SUNY Buffalo School of Law Jessica Owley has recently published two important new pieces of scholarship pertaining to conservation easements.  The following abstracts and links to the articles were recently distributed on the SSRN eJournal “Protected Lands Law & Policy.” “Property Constructs and Nature’s Challenge to Perpetuity” Environmental Law and Contrasting […]

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Property Taxes and Conservation Easements

Conservation easements are a remarkable legal tool for protecting land from development.  Among the things that make conservation easements unique is that they are the result of transactions by willing sellers and willing buyers, and thus are not imposed by regulation, they are negotiable and they are in almost every case perpetual.  The primary driver […]

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Land Trust & Conservation Easement Law Flow Chart

Land trusts and the conservation easements they frequently deploy to protect land are governed by a multitude of legal regimes.  For those advising and working with land trusts, dealing with multiple, and sometimes conflicting, legal regimes can be daunting enough.  Adding to the challenge is that many of these regimes are highly complex and technical, […]

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Risk Management in Conservation Easements

Risk, liability, exposure — whatever one calls it, no one wants it.  In today’s perilous economy and litigious legal environment everyone is becoming more risk averse.  From individuals of every income strata to partnerships, corporations, utilities and governments, no one wants to take on additional risk in a transaction.  This is particularly true for individuals and entities […]

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Arbitration and Mediation in Conservation Easements

A recent thread in a land trust listserve began with the question of whether land trusts should include arbitration provisions in conservation easements.  The following discussion is my take on the issue. In responding to the initial query, I agreed with the other posts that pointed out that contracts and conservation easements that include an […]

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