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Some topics require more time than is allotted for a Rally workshop.  Daylong and half day seminars are your chance to experience high quality, intensive trainings and delve further into important issues in land conservation. Choose from 17 diverse seminars that will be taught by prominent, experienced course leaders. Come away with fresh ideas and a new understanding of the subject matter!

Register early - many seminars sell out quickly.

Helpful Symbols
To assist you in choosing a seminar that is just right for you, your skill level and interests, look for these symbols:

* indicates seminars of interest to board members
V indicates seminars of interest to all volunteer land trusts
CLE indicates continuing legal education credits

Continuing Legal Education Credit
The Alliance will apply for Continuing Legal Education credit for workshop sessions denoted with a CLE symbol and for Seminars 5,6, 8, 11, 12, and 13. The cost for obtaining CLE credit is $100 per person, per state. Please indicate which state(s) you are applying for when you register. For more information on continuing education, please email Lorri Barrett.

Lunch will be served to participants who register for one daylong seminar or two half day seminars.  Participants who register for one half day seminar may purchase a lunch ticket in advance for $36.  No onsite lunch tickets will be sold.

Seminar Prices
The first seminar price indicates the rate for staff/board of Alliance Member Land Trusts, and the second seminar price indicates the rate for partners and others.


Thursday, September 18

Daylong Seminars



Capital Campaigns for Land Trusts *
Donna Fletcher
9:00am – 5:00pm | Intermediate/Advanced | $175/$205
This seminar will equip participants with the knowledge needed to undertake a capital campaign, including evaluating their organizational readiness; understanding whether their project(s) can attract support; creating the case for support and fundraising/marketing materials needed to engage donors; recruiting volunteer solicitors; and planning for the two-three years needed for the campaign.


Using Story to Build People, Plans and Resources *
Marc Smiley, Rich Bruer
9:00am – 5:00pm | Intermediate/Advanced | $175/$205
Standards and Practices Curriculum
The best trusts are easily recognized by the people they attract, the plans they implement, and the resources they generate. Knowing how to build an effective organization requires focus on these three areas. They are not separate issues, and they cannot be successful without a focus on all three. At the heart of all of these is a story – an organizational story that translates to the personal level. This workshop will provide practical, hands-on tools to strengthen these three pillars of strong land trusts, and will clarify how personal stories are an essential element woven throughout all three areas.

Half Day Seminars


How to Build your Organization’s Dashboards *V
Christine Lent, Sharon Danosky
8:00am – 12:00pm | Intermediate/Advanced | $100/$115
Does your Board require more relevant information in the future? This seminar will assist you, your staff, and board members to discover the power of dashboards. Help your board hold better discussions, have more efficient meetings and make better decisions. Teach your staff how to gather data proactively in preparation for meaningful presentations at the board meeting. Learn how to uncover the relevant information in your income statements and balance sheets. This program is ideal for chief financial officers, budget directors, department leaders, and board members.


Steve Small's Checklist and Tips for a Conservation Easement Project CLE
Steve Small
8:00am – 12:00pm | Intermediate/Advanced | $100/$115
Steve Small will go through and analyze (i) a lengthy conservation easement document, with provisions from routine to novel and from old to state-of-the-art; (ii) a 40+ item conservation easement project checklist, compiled during more than 30 years of conservation easement transactions; and (iii) a focused list of the most common and most difficult problems encountered in a conservation easement project.  Steve will put particular emphasis on: (1) the most important things to remember to keep the IRS happy; (2) often-hidden tax, legal, and appraisal planning issues; (3) fringe-of-the-law (and as yet unanswered) tax, legal, appraisal and drafting questions; and (4) the most common land trust mistakes he encounters.  Participation will be encouraged.


Savvy Risk Taking for Land Trusts CLE*V
Leslie Ratley-Beach, Paul Doscher
8:00am – 12:00pm | Basic/Intermediate | $100/$115
Standards and Practices Curriculum
Risk management needs to be discussed and addressed at all levels of land trust activity and a community wide approach must be introduced and supported. Using "A Guide to Risk Management for Land Trusts", and scenario examples from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, we will delve into the practical details and benefits of organizational risk management. We will cover basic risk management concepts, cover insurance planning and outline a sample risk management plan during the session including mitigation strategies and risk reduction solutions for staff, members, boards and members.  This course qualifies for the Terrafirma risk management discount for 2015.


Boot Camp: First-Time Accreditation *V
Melissa Kalvestrand
8:00am – 12:00pm | All | $40/$40
Offered for land trusts planning to register or apply for first-time accreditation in the next year or two, this seminar will explain in-depth the first-time accreditation process and provide guidance on what the Commission looks for to determine compliance with specific indicator practices from Land Trust Standards and Practices. Participants will have an opportunity to share specific areas of concern and interest in advance, and the instructor will use that information to formulate the final agenda.


Qualified Appraisals of Conservation Easements CLE*V
Melinda Beck, Kevin Shea, Mark Weston
8:00am – 12:00pm | Intermediate/Advanced | $100/$115
Standards and Practices Curriculum
This seminar derives from the Standards & Practices Curriculum Series, "Tax Benefits and Appraisals of Conservation Easements (2007)." Seven years after its publication, scrutiny of conservation easement appraisals appears to be increasing, and the IRS has sought to have serious legal sanctions imposed on at least one appraiser. When things go wrong, land protection projects fail or are delayed. This session will inform land trusts how to work with appraisers and appraisals. We will use practical examples and focus on ways to avoid unpleasant surprises in projects.


Board Member Summit: Increasing Your Land Trust’s Impact through Collaboration

Board Member Summit: Increasing Your Land Trust’s Impact through Collaboration *V
Melissa Levy, Judy Anderson
8:00am – 1:00pm | All | $65 | Includes lunch
Are you looking for great examples of how land trusts have collaborated and conserved more land? How about examples of how they have become more efficient, built more capacity, and raised more money? This interactive workshop will provide you with ideas, tools and strategies to help strengthen your organization through partnerships and collaboration. Participants will explore: a) what areas are ripe for collaboration; b) when collaboration makes sense; c) minefields to avoid; d) mechanics of collaboration, including communications; and e) decision-making protocols and planning in collaboration. Participants will discuss a variety of opportunities, from partnerships, shared staff, phased approaches, program development and mergers.


Your Board and Engaging New Constituencies
Dianne Russell
1:00pm – 5:00pm | Basic | $100/$115
Land trusts are increasingly thinking about their role in their communities in new and creative ways. By being relevant within the community, land trusts can build long-term support for their conservation mission.  Doing so often requires approaching their work differently and engaging with new partners and constituencies in the community. This session provides land trust board and staff leaders with a framework for discussing the “why” and “how” of new or deeper engagement strategies, along with benchmarks for tracking progress.


Title Review: The Key to Solid TransactionsCLE *
Allan Beezley, Dan Cline, MaryKay O’Donnell, Marie Vicek
1:00pm – 5:00pm | Intermediate | $100/$115
Standards and Practices Curriculum
This seminar is intended for anyone working in land conservation who is seeking an introduction to title or a refresher on the subject.  We will cover the fundamental principles of title and its importance in completing valid and effective conservation projects. Title basics to be discussed include ownership, land descriptions, encumbrances, partial severances of real property interests as well as the difference between a title commitment and title insurance. The various parts of a title commitment will be explained and some examples of underlying recorded documents referenced in a title commitment will be examined. We will also present approaches that we have used in our own practice to resolve adverse conditions of title.


Shades of Grey: Risk Assessment and Problem Solving for Easement Modifications CLE*V
Bill Silberstein, Jessica Jay, Konrad Liegel, Ben Gajewski, Rob Levin
1:00pm – 5:00pm | Advanced | $100/$115
Bring your collaborative problem-solving skills to an intensive four-hour practical examination of land trust risk assessment focusing on the challenges of conservation easement modification. We begin with grounding in various existing laws, then move to an overview of risk assessment and problem solving and conclude with practical application to real problems in a case study and in conservation easement drafting. We will address all types of perpetual conservation easements: donated, bargain sold, purchased and exacted.


Mediating Conservation Disputes: What to Expect and How to Reach Resolution CLE
Debbie Leonard, Ellen Fred, Jeff Jocks
1:00pm – 5:00pm | Basic/Intermediate | $100/$115
Inevitably, the work of land preservation will give rise to conflict, be it external to the organization (land trust/land owner) or internal (staff or board interpersonal disputes). This seminar will discuss mediation as a tool for resolving such conflicts. Through presentations and role play, participants will learn how mediation compares with other dispute resolution techniques, what conflicts lend themselves best to mediation, what to expect in the mediation process and how to handle disputes both before and during formal mediation. Additionally, participants will hear a first-hand account of mediation in an actual land trust-landowner dispute.


Marketing: Increase and Diversify Membership, Participation and Support *V
Shelli Bischoff, Karen Buck
1:00pm – 5:00pm | Intermediate/Advanced | $100/$115
Are you trying to increase membership, reach a more diverse audience, or attract new donors? Are your marketing meetings brainstorming sessions that do not turn into a coordinated and systematic strategy for engaging new supporters? Is marketing that thing that the membership person does, separate from the rest of the organization? Learn a simple approach to being more deliberate about your marketing efforts to yield real results. You’ll get useful tools, and examples of how the approach has been used by land trusts of all sizes to reach and engage a larger and more diverse constituency.


A Board for All Seasons
David Allen, Peter McKeever
1:00pm – 5:00pm | Basic/Intermediate | $100/$115
This fun and interactive seminar offers a fresh perspective on the job of building and running a land trust – and land trust board - that is sustainable over the long-haul and protects conservation values in perpetuity. The program is for board and staff who are ready to find the sweet spot – where the vision lines up with the conservation, the enthusiasm flows and you’re prepared for each challenge that comes along. Against a framework of the arc of board service – Learning/Doing/Leading – we will offer six outside-the-lines strategies for reorganizing and rejuvenating the board experience to ensure a strong organization that lasts. We’ll provide practical, hands-on tools for participants to take back and implement right away, and we’ll practice using them.


Staying Relevant: Reaching a Changing Demography
Craig Anderson, Omar Gallardo, Gisele Martin
1:00pm – 5:00pm | Intermediate | $100/$115
Land trusts and First Nations working to protect natural places are faced with a changing demographic and an increasingly busy and disconnected populace. How can we more effectively re-connect people with land through community engagement and empowerment? Join LandPaths ("land partners through stewardship") leaders Craig Anderson and Omar Gallegos, and cultural activist Gisele Maria Martin from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation as they discuss the latest on innovative programs that address a broad variety of community-based approaches to conservation. Presenters will summarize methods used in their work and how their programs evolved to ensure relevancy in our ever-changing societies. Presentation will include "how-to" as well as discussion to challenge participants to imagine and share ideas they could implement based on these models.


Preparing for Renewal of Accreditation *V
Jennifer Brady-Connor
1:00pm – 5:00pm | All | $40/$40
Offered for all accredited land trusts, particularly those planning to apply for renewal of accreditation in the next year or two, this seminar will explain in-depth how the renewal process works, how it differs from first-time accreditation, documentation required, and when to begin preparing. Participants will receive guidance on how to demonstrate compliance with specific indicator practices from Land Trust Standards and Practices and also connect with peers who are working on challenges unique to preparing for renewal. Participants will have an opportunity to share specific areas of concern and interest in advance, and the instructor will use that information to formulate the final agenda.

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