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Conservation Defense Insurance 2009 Update

Since Rally more than 150 land trusts, conservation partners and attorneys sent comments to the Alliance on the proposed conservation defense insurance program. In addition, the Alliance presented the Betterley Feasibility Report to eight statewide land trust gatherings around the country and has been working with a small group of land trust leaders to address the necessary details of any such program. More listening sessions will be held in the next few months. Based on the comments received, the Alliance has modified many of the original proposals in the Betterley Feasibility Report.

Read the report and numerous supporting documents.  Comments on the Feasibility Report are due by March 1, 2009.

Overall, land trusts sound enthusiastic about the potential program should the Alliance be able to create it. Even before the Alliance has asked for commitments, more than 18 land trust boards have already voted to participate in the program.

By mid February the Alliance expects to distribute the proposed final business terms for the possible insurance program to all land trusts for your review and comment. By May the Alliance will formally request land trust boards to indicate their conditional commitment to insuring either all their conservation easements or all their fee land parcels or their entire portfolio, as the land trust chooses, by signing a conditional commitment and depositing a refundable registration payment. The Alliance board meets in early June and will evaluate whether to continue with the insurance program exploration at that meeting. Staff will report to the board about the number of conservation easements that land trusts have committed to insuring at the June board meeting. In order to sustain the insurance program, the Alliance must have written commitments from land trusts willing to insure 12,000 conservation easements and must raise $4,000,000 in capital from foundations.

Help determine the feasibility and design this potential program by taking a survey.

For more information or to provide comments, please call or write to:
Leslie Ratley-Beach
Conservation Defense Director
Land Trust Alliance
44 Deerfield Drive
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: (802) 262-6051 (and fax)

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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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