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 stewardship

Supporting your stewardship team

Stewardship volunteers and staff are responsible for upholding lasting conservation. That is a big job.


Terrafirma wanted to share some resources and ideas to assist you:

  • Be sure that all of your stewardship staff and volunteers sign up for TerraBites if they haven’t already. It is free.
  • You might consider including procedures to timely file Terrafirma claims in your land trust’s stewardship policies, as well as quarterly claim updates.
  • Your stewardship team might devote time in their meetings to Terrafirma claims matters.
  • Your stewardship volunteers and staff should watch Terrafirma’s “Timely Claim Filing” video.
  • Check out the Land Trust Alliance’s Practical Pointer Series, which has practical tips to help land trusts navigate the risks associated with stewardship administration and conundrums. 


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




Tom Kester
Operations Manager and Secretary
Alliance Risk Management Services LLC
Manager for Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC


P.S., did you know our partners at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center have created a website to help nonprofit organizations manage the HR and risk issues they face? The website, https://www.risk-resources.org, includes more than 75 factsheets, infographics, worksheets, and templates that nonprofit organizations can view and download.


Stewardship during COVID-19

The pandemic presents unprecedented challenges for monitoring and enforcement. Terrafirma takes these special circumstances into account so that you can focus on staying safe. Please document any deviations from standard procedures and anything that might affect your eligibility requirements for Terrafirma this year.


We highly recommend that you read Conservation Stewardship in the Time of COVID-19 on the Land Trust Alliance Learning Center for tips on proceeding with essential work while managing risk.


Most importantly for your Terrafirma coverage, remember to file a claim for any issues discovered during the 2019 policy period (March 1, 2019 to March 1, 2020) by April 30, 2020. The grace period end date of April 30 never changes, so you can add a recurring calendar item for each year so you don’t forget!


Have questions? Please let us know. You can email us directly or call 802-262-6051 for Leslie, or 202-800-2248 for myself.


Conservation Defense Coordinator
(202) 800-2248  |  


Look Again!

When was the last time your organization reviewed your stewardship policy? If it was pre-Terrafirma, it may be time to take another look.

Your policy likely describes how stewardship reserves are set, and it may advise landowners that the funds will be segregated and used only for monitoring and enforcement, not for daily operations of the land trust.

If you have Terrafirma coverage, you might consider adding language that makes it clear if:

  • Reserves may include a contribution of premium for the Terrafirma policy as part of the initial funding
  • Some of the stewardship funds will be used to pay for Terrafirma policies covering not only easements, but the land trust’s own fee properties


Have questions about policy drafting or anything else? Please let us know. You can email us directly or call 802-262-6051 for Leslie, or 202-800-2248 for myself.


Devising to Avoid Divisions

The no division clause in a conservation easement can be crucial. It protects the easement’s habitat and scenic values while promoting wildlife movement. It also avoids land fragmentation, conflicting management and the unnecessary costs and burdens of extra monitoring and enforcement for multiple parcels. Are you using annual monitoring visits to ask the important questions that will help you to determine if this clause could be violated?

Rather than pepper the landowner with questions, try to engage them in a friendly conversation that involves the following:

  • Has the address changed?
  • Has any portion of property been sold, no matter how small?
  • Has any portion of property been given to anyone, even a relative, no matter how small?
  • Has any portion of property been leased, mortgaged, exchanged, or liened, no matter how small?
  • Have you granted rights to anyone, even a relative or neighbor, to anyone else of any kind?
  • Have you changed the name of the owner of the property such as creating a company, partnership or trust of any kind?
  • Have land uses changed in any way?

Explain that the easement addresses divisions, and that understanding the owner’s plans now means no unpleasant surprises down the road – for you and for the landowner.

Have questions? Please let us know. You can email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri, 802-262-6051 for Leslie, or 202-800-2248 for myself.


Hannah Flake

Conservation Defense Associate


(202) 800-2248 |


Hungry for more TerraBites? Check out our LinkedIn


Sign Up for TerraBites

Collectively upholding conservation permanence