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Conservation Defense


The Conservation Defense Initiative has three components:

1. Conservation Defense Center
Provides networking, education and legal information to attorneys and land trusts on conservation defense.

2. Conservation Defense Fund
Used by the Alliance to assist land trusts facing precedent-setting legal challenges to their conservation easements and land holdings.  The Fund is not a replacement for land trust legal defense funds and stewardship endowments.

3. Conservation Defense Liability Insurance

We have made extraordinary progress on advancing Terrafirma. This is the first time in history that environmental organizations have created their own insurance company. Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC is a new charitable risk pool insurance service organized by the Land Trust Alliance, and owned by land trusts to protect against costly legal battles.

The response from land trusts has been positive. Over 450 land trusts have enrolled--insuring over 22,000 properties.

For information on any of these programs, please contact Leslie Ratley-Beach, Alliance Conservation Defense Director, at

*Access is offered to board, staff and volunteers of Alliance member land trusts and organizational partners, and to individual members at the $250 level and above.

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Support from land trusts

Christian Freitag, attorney-at-law and executive director at Sycamore Land Trust (IN), says "I view Conservation Defense Insurance as another step the land trust community is taking to keep our promises. We claim that we will help people protect their land in perpetuity. With this program, the public can be more confident than ever that we take that commitment seriously."


Greg Gamble, executive director at Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (CA), says that "this is one of the most helpful things that the Land Trust Alliance could attempt for its members, and I have greatly appreciated the professional, thoughtful, fair and inclusive process that you have led."


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