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 timber

Timber theft that takes more than trees

Timber theft on conserved land can be disastrous and involve expensive legal costs for land trusts, but some inflict an extra emotional toll as well. Delaware Highlands Conservancy, a Terrafirma member based in Pennsylvania and New York, recently settled a timber theft claim that involved a logger crossing into a landowner’s conserved property and illegally removing 120 mature white oak trees as well as destroying a memorial site dedicated to the original property owner and donor. You can read Delaware Highlands Conservancy’s press release here.

Terrafirma covered the Conservancy’s claim, and they were able to reach a settlement requiring the defendants to pay for remediation and restoration of the trees and repay the Conservancy’s legal expenses. While the money pays for restoration and all costs and fees for the landowner and the Conservancy, it cannot heal the emotional damage that such an extensive and deliberate trespass caused.


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. To receive the Terrafirma risk management discount on your 2024 Policy, one member of your land trust will need to attend an approved risk management course. The following upcoming risk management webinars are free and online (each webinar is scheduled for 3-4 p.m. Eastern):

The following upcoming risk management webinar costs $70 and held online:

Registration is open and you can register by clicking on the above hyperlinks.   


Prevailing in court

It is no secret that going to court is expensive and time consuming. Land trusts succeed when they are prepared to meet the documentation, money and people costs of litigation. Preventative spending to head off disputes early and strong resolution skills for differences with landowners and neighbors can reduce the risk of lawsuits. Eventually, however, upholding lasting conservation may force your land trust into court. Great Land Trust in Alaska distilled its insights from a four-year legal battle with a trespasser who cut over 350 trees along with the dumping, spreading and compacting 28 dump truck loads of gravel. This gravel and associated trespassing crushed the forest vegetation, creating dead zones. Great Land Trust’s case management points are essential reading for every land trust!

Thank you,

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

PS: Applications for policy year 2023 open on Dec. 1! Please notify your accounts payable to update their vendor list and change the Terrafirma address to use the new P.O. Box address:


Terrafirma RRG LLC
P.O. Box 1330
Williston, VT 05495-1330


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