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Mineral Rights Handbook Now Available

After over two years of hard work and collaboration by many committed people, the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts has published Mineral Development and Land Conservation: A Handbook for Conservation Professionals.

This is a critical resource for anyone involved in conservation transactions and provides expert and easy-to-use information about a broad range of issues related to land conservation and mineral and energy development. While the handbook focuses on Colorado law, it is also a valuable resource to land trusts in other states on mineral rights in general, due diligence checklists and sample easement language.

The Handbook compiles expertise from Colorado oil and gas and conservation attorneys, scientists, industry professionals and other conservation professionals on timely topics such as:

  • Tax laws related to conservation easements and mineral development;
  • How to determine ownership of mineral rights;
  • Split estate and the legal rights of estate owners;
  • The basic elements of a mineral remoteness assessment;
  • Impacts of subsurface mining on conservation values;
  • Mitigation and best management practices;
  • Surface use agreements;
  • Sample easement language; and
  • Other key references and resources.


The book began as an attempt by a group of conservation professionals to tackle the complex and constantly evolving issues of mineral development and conservation.  The working group focused on a broad spectrum of ideas into a workable plan that will guide conservation professionals through the complexities of mineral development in Colorado.

Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts welcomes additional comments from conservation organization practitioners and others who use this book.  It is our hope to be able to improve its usefulness with updates in the future.

The Handbook is available for purchase on the Colorado Coalition of Land Trust's website.

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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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