The holidays are a time of giving and sharing, but not all giving and sharing is good. Many conservation easements prohibit subdivision — so a generous landowner who decides to give the back lot to a relative may be violating the easement. And since Terrafirma insurance divides parcels by number of owners, the division would affect your coverage.
Just asking the landowner about subdivision sometimes isn’t enough. Here is a list of things to watch out for:
- Any new deeds or easements being prepared or recorded
- Shared ownership with multiple parties
- Wills that give the property to multiple heirs
- Wills that grant a life estate in part of the property
- Plans to give a house lot to a relative
- Bankruptcy, foreclosure or divorce proceedings
If you discover a subdivision, don’t hesitate to file a claim or placeholder claim. The situation may be simple to resolve but why take the risk? Filing a claim is easy!
We’re here to help! If you have any questions about property divisions 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.
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
Working with a land trust, you will encounter all sorts of landowners and neighbors and others. Some will be more engaging than others. How can you be most effective with someone who isn’t as skillful or poised as you?
- Stay calm. If you feel yourself getting angry or upset, step back mentally from the situation, take a breath and remember what you want to accomplish. Your kindness and calmness can refocus the tone of the situation.
- Be clear. Subtleties of words can lead to confusion. Emotional finesse however is essential.
- Stay aware of consequences. If done calmly and clearly and without rancor, stating the direct consequences of the individual’s actions may be enough to lead to collaboration.
- Give it a rest. Diplomacy is critical. Come back another day to revisit the conversation.
Remember you are the pro! Demonstrate your compassion, confidence and determination in all you do.
School supplies can be expensive — but the Legal Defense Reserves Calculator is free! Get a better forecast of the adequate legal defense reserve you need with the Land Trust Alliance’s new calculator. The calculator enables you to calculate reserves tailored to your specific situation. The Alliance worked with independent actuaries to develop the calculator using actuarial analysis and data collected from hundreds of land trusts across the nation, building upon previous studies of basic thresholds for defense funding. The tailored results can help you survive significant legal challenges or a series of challenges.
Access the calculator in The Learning Center or contact us by email to receive the calculator as an Excel file.
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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“We have a duty and we couldn’t shirk it.”
Executive Director George Moore spoke the truth when a reporter asked about Lyme Land Conservation Trust’s decision to go to court to uphold lasting conservation. For conservation organizations, upholding the spirit of conservation easements and protecting land that they own isn’t optional. It is a duty owed to neighbors, members, funders, the public, regulators, and the land itself. This is why Terrafirma insures land trusts when they need to sue as well when someone sues a land trust. Read the full story on this heroic defense of a rural community’s land ethic.
We’re here to help! If you have any questions about filing claims 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. You can now visit the Terrafirma website to download your policy, view the 2014 financial documents and Annual Report to Members, or *NEW* add newly acquired parcels to your policy any time during the year.