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 neighbors

Good Information Makes Good Neighbors

Issues with neighbors can be inevitable, even when everyone has good intentions. Ongoing disputes with neighbors can lead to claims of property damage, encroachment, nuisance or trespass. The inconsistent use of conservation property contrary to land trust guidelines can damage the conservation values or result in the land trust inadvertently granting an impermissible private benefit to the trespasser. The outcome of litigation is decided by state and local law, so land trusts should consult with experienced local counsel.

Terrafirma currently has 164 open claims regarding some type of neighbor difficulty, usually involving trespass or encroachments but also involving boundary disputes, access disputes and legal disputes about the enforceability of easements. Of the 164 total neighbor claims, 16 are covered claims in litigation or bound for litigation. Regardless of the nature of the dispute, there are some standard steps that can help prepare a land trust.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions, please let us know.



Hannah Flake
Conservation Defense Coordinator
(202) 800-2248  |  


Get off my lawn!

Does your land trust have written policies and procedures for dealing with an encroachment violation? Here is just one example of an action step that your organization can take: Ask neighbors to be your eyes. They can be your most valuable witnesses for up-to-date, firsthand information. For eight more tips on documenting, responding and more, click here.

Still have questions about handling an encroachment, or anything else? Please let us know. You can email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri, 202-800-2248 for myself or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.




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