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While Maine's coastal zone comprises only 15% of the land area of Maine, 44% of Maine's residents live in this limited area.

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Strategic Conservation Training

Making Conservation More Strategic

The Land Trust Alliance working with the Maine Coast Protection Initiative has created a Strategic Land Conservation Training that engages land trusts along the Maine coast in a process to create and implement a strategic conservation vision that accelerates the pace and quality of coastal land conservation.


Who can benefit from this training?

  • Board members and staff of all volunteer or minimally staffed land trusts along coastal Maine that want to improve or establish a plan to achieve their conservation vision;
  • Staff of municipalities or larger multi-staffed land trusts who want to work in collaboration with smaller land trusts to establish a shared conservation vision and implementation plan;
  • Land trusts that have received capacity building grants from the Maine Coast Protection Initiative and are required to complete or update their strategic conservation plan.

This training is designed as an introductory training. We expect learners to approach the training with minimal experience and understanding of the subject. Learners (and their colleagues back home) may not even clearly understand the importance of having a strategic conservation plan. materials show learners that being strategic in determining land conservation priorities and proactively pursuing those priorities is critical to accelerating the pace and quality of land conservation.


How can I access this training?

Available is a Student Guide, designed for four types earning situations: instructor-led training, self-study, review, and reference; The draft Student Guide is available by contacting Kevin Case at Further, it is planned that the this training will eventually be integrated into the Land Trust Alliance’s one-stop education and learning portal available to members at


What will the training give me?

The training is written for learners new to the subject or those wanting a refresher on key topics. When the learner leaves the training, s/he should be able to:

  • Describe what strategic land conservation is.
  • Explain why strategic land conservation is important for individual land trusts as well as the land conservation movement as a whole.
  • Persuade their land trust organization of the value and importance of establishing and implementing a strategic land conservation plan.
  • Understand how to analyze the nature of the threat to the landscape in their service area.
  • Explain what the components of a successful strategic land conservation effort are and what an organization needs in place before it can undertake such an effort (e.g. agreed upon mission and goals, land protection criteria, other?)
  • Explain the role of the land trust’s mission in guiding strategic land conservation.
  • Explain the role of land protection criteria in developing a strategic land conservation plan.
  • Explain and employ the steps involved in a strategic land conservation process including land prioritization, action planning, implementation and review.
  • Explain the different methods available for identifying land protection priorities, their costs and benefits, and how to determine the method most appropriate for an individual land trust.
  • Understand how to use existing planning work (state, federal, local) and regulations in planning their strategic goals.
  • Identify the resources needed for a land trust to successfully complete a strategic land conservation planning process.
  • Explain what the possible final products of a strategic land conservation planning process could be and how success regarding its implementation can be measured.
  • Understand the need for incorporating measures of success and the need for periodic evaluation of the plan and core components such as land protection criteria.
  • For coastal land trusts – to explain what the unique challenges are about coastal conservation and what that means to how a strategic land conservation plan is developed and implemented.


How do I learn more?

For copies of the draft Student Guide or to learn more, please contact Kevin Case, Northeast Conservation Manager:; (860)361-9310.

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Download the 11x17 map poster

Coastal Success Stories

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