Practical Pointers for Land Trusts When Facing a Lawsuit or Other Legal Challenge of Any Size
With protected land in the millions of acres and more land under easement
transferring to successor landowners, violations will occur and land trusts must
address all of them. Even the best-prepared land trust will eventually experience
a major dispute that requires its personnel to exercise anger management and
sound negotiation skills.
This toolbox will help you build skills so that you are prepared to operate
calmly, confidently, efficiently and effectively in the face of legal challenges.
Although this toolbox focuses primarily on the challenges of defending
conservation easements, the litigation issues and strategies are applicable to
The purpose of this toolbox is to help land trust board members, staff and
volunteers to successfully manage challenges, disputes and litigation. Land
trust personnel who lack formal legal training but who are looking for
more information about managing risk and dealing with legal challenges in
land conservation should be able to use it easily. The toolbox includes definitions
of formal legal terminology so that the lessons are accessible to the
reader without legal training (roll the cursor over these terms to see definitions).
The toolbox also includes examples of conservation defense lawsuits.
The examples are summarized for clarity and so that an educated layperson
will be able to understand them. Where possible, each example has a citation
for those who wish to refer to the original legal text.
Standards & Practices, Conservation Easements, Stewardship