A short newsletter of bite-size ideas to chew on for Terrafirma owner-member land trusts, released January, February, May, June, September, October and November.


Posts tagged baseline documentation

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Last month we wrote about Lyme Land Conservation Trust and their major victory for land trusts everywhere. What turned the tide in their favor? Persuasive Baseline Documentation Reports, which can include maps, descriptions, and photographs. President John Pritchard said these photographs were "critical to their case"--the judge was visibly moved by the before and after pictures that clearly displayed extensive damage. As you make your own plans for managing the property that your land trust holds, don't forget this crucial component.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about Baseline Documentation Reports or anything else, please let us know. You can email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri, 202-800-2248 for Hannah, or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.



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Be Prepared for Changes to Constructed Conditions

Buildings, roads and fences are not camera shy. Yet many baselines don’t include pictures or descriptions of constructed conditions on the property – such as houses, barns, riding rings, garages, amenities, driveways, fences, walls, docks and service buildings.

Changes to constructed conditions may change the intensity of use, the kind of use, the location or the impact of reserved rights on the conservation values. When a landowner starts making changes to structures on the property, you want to have a record of what the property looked like before. Baseline documentation establishes the original conditions of the property. So you want to include documentation of constructed conditions as well as natural conditions. If your land trust has to go to court, this could make all the difference in the world. And it will help with successor owners who may claim that this structure was there all the time. What a relief to have that attested baseline showing what was really there!

Remember that the 2014 policy reenrollment starts December 1, 2013 and ends February 3, 2014. Terrafirma currently has six claims in process from member land trusts. Please don’t let your coverage lapse.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about baselines or anything else, please let us know. You can reply to this email, email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.


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