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Conservation Defense Insurance Increases Donor Confidence

Winston Bowen of the Mendocino Land Trust in California said that the possible "insurance program could not have come at a better time."  Just last month he was in a long conversation with a landowner who is beginning to negotiate with the land trust to conserve his ranch.  "One of his key questions was how a small land trust like ours could assure that future landowners would abide by the terms of an established easement."

"I was able to respond that the Alliance is putting together a nation-wide risk pool program that will assist with legal defense," reported Winston. He also added that the land trust continues to build its defense reserves as suggested by Land Trust Standards and Practices so that if the insurance program starts it will be a safety net to the land trust’s good financial management.

"Apparently, continued Winston, "this landowner's friend had just defended a conservation easement threatened by a very wealthy business person who had tried to build a "mega-mansion" (his term) in the center of the area protected by the easement.  The potential donor was aware of the cost of this legal action, and is smart enough to make the connection with his own plans."

Check out how the possible conservation defense insurance program might help your land trust with its sound financial management, help increase donor confidence and develop your land trust effectiveness in responding to legal challenges at the Alliance Conservation Defense Insurance web page.

The last day to comment on the proposed program is May 15. Enter the YOU NAME IT contest by May 15 and win a free 90-minute workshop from the Alliance suite of online trainings. We invite you and your colleagues to suggest a name for the proposed conservation defense insurance program via e-mail to 

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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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