This course covers the costs and funding of land and conservation easement stewardship, and presents best practices in managing a land trust's financial assets and dedicated funds.
Chapter one covers the issues involved in determining the costs associated with monitoring and defending conservation easements. You will learn to assess the tasks and costs involved in easement stewardship and administration. With this information, you can determine the annual funding your land trust needs for easement stewardship and enforcement. This chapter also explains the different methods for calculating stewardship fund contribution amounts based on easement stewardship costs, and it illustrates the different methods by which land trusts raise these funds. You will learn about enforcement costs and legal defense funds, and how to create a stewardship fund policy for your land trust. You will also receive the tools you need to help determine if your current stewardship funding is adequate and suggestions for what to do if it isn’t.
Stewardship of fee-owned properties is a complex enterprise because of the wide range of activities land trusts may undertake, from simple monitoring to removing invasive species to managing public recreational use. Chapter two takes you through the process of determining how much money you will need to care for a property over time and meet your land trust’s goals. You will review different financial models to help you determine whether a steady source of operating income or a designated fund(s) provides the best assurance of the financial resources your land trust needs to meet its property management responsibilities. This chapter will also help you determine if your land stewardship funding is adequate and provide suggestions for raising additional dollars.
Finally, chapter three covers the most commonly used tools and systems land trusts need to manage their financial assets and dedicated funds, including stewardship funds. In this chapter, you will also obtain the information you need to create or revise an investment policy tailored to your land trust’s specific needs.
Standards & Practices