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 risk

Uptick in extinguishment demands

Terrafirma is seeing an increase in extinguishment demands by successor owners and third parties. These extinguishment demands are often based on bad faith allegations of hardship, negligence or deceptive practices. 

We are also seeing these demands increase because of changes to the land resulting from extreme and unusual weather. They use this as an excuse to attempt to eliminate conservation easements and even to justify trespassing on preserves. The Land Trust Alliance recently published two new Practical Pointers to help land trusts adapt to changing conditions when drafting easements and when administering all conservation holdings.

Here are some additional risk mitigation steps that your land trust can take:

  • Ensure that you have ample insurance coverage (Terrafirma, title, general liability and directors and officers).
  • Carry out community outreach so that folks of all persuasions see you as an important ally.
  • File a Terrafirma claim at the first mention of hiring a lawyer, filing a lawsuit, demanding extinguishment/boundary adjustment by a landowner or neighbor, or any other possible damage or challenge. If you are not certain, then be safe and file a placeholder claim.

We're here to help! If you have questions, please contact us at .



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

P.S. Remember to submit your Terrafirma application for the 2022 policy year by Tuesday, Feb. 1!


All Together Now

Last month we wrote about common problem areas relating to division, and how no-division clauses can help. Here is why avoiding division is crucial not just for the easement’s habitat, scenic values and wildlife, but for your organization:

  • More owners means more chance of management related conflicts.
  • Property divisions within a conservation easement increase costs and burdens of extra monitoring and enforcement, including more paperwork. 
  • Subdivisions increase the number of landowners the land trust is responsible for maintaining relationships with; if a land trust is not able to devote enough resources towards landowner relationships and communications, violation risk increases.
  • Studies show that more landowners means more risk of violations generally. This is why Terrafirma will always count parcels with different owners separately.

Have questions about easement division violations or anything else? Please let us know. You can e-mail us directly or call 202-800-2248.



Gobble Up These Risk Management Resources

Do you want to start managing your organization’s risk, but you’re not sure where to turn? You have many free resources available!

On the Learning Center:

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center:

  • Log on as an affiliate using these instructions for free and discounted risk and insurance resources.

Reminder: You still need resources to hire experts (see reserve calculator) and it is smart to get a preapproval from your board to spend up to the $5000 deductible on disputed violations and trespass and challenges.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about risk management resources 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.



P.S. The Terrafirma enrollment and update period begins December 1st. The 2016 Risk Management discount can be attained via webinar attendance or our online course


Sign Up for TerraBites

Collectively upholding conservation permanence