Stewardship

Some may think that once a Conservation Easement is registered on a property that the project is complete but in reality this is just the beginning. A conservation easement is a long-term agreement that requires both parties to meet certain responsibilities. A significant part of those responsibilities is regular communication about the land - this in part is referred to as stewardship. Stewardship is the care and management of the conservation easement property to ensure it is achieving its conservation purposes. Stewardship involves a land trust being open to calls from landowners about land management concerns, land trusts sharing information with landowners about land management techniques, annual visits to each property by the land trust, follow up reports about each visit, and open conversations about any concerns.

Stewardship is important for both the landowner and the land trust. When stewardship is done well the landowner has confidence that they entrusted the long-term care of their land in the right hands. If interested, the landowner may be able have a team of land trust volunteers do various conservation projects (e.g. fencing, weed removal, brush management, etc.). Regular stewardship allows the land trust the knowledge and assurance that the property they invested in is achieving its conservation purposes.


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