What's New


SJC Rules in Favor of New England Forestry Foundation
May 24, 2014

On May 15th, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its decision in the New England Forestry Foundation vs. Town of Hawley case. It was a unanimous and clear-cut victory for continued property tax exemption for legitimate land trusts.

Read the SJC decision here

Read an annotated summary of the decision here
prepared by Mark Robinson, Mass Land Trust Coalition board member and Executive Director of the Compact  of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts.

Mass Land Trust Coalition and Land Trust Alliance Amicus Brief here

New EEA Land Report Released
April 21, 2014

The Patrick Administration’s unprecedented investment of $280 million in land conservation resulted in the permanent protection of 100,000 acres of land the creation of 150 new parks across the Commonwealth.  This report tells the story of how a grass roots effort of hundreds of people, land trusts and municipalities conserved parks and greenspaces that are within a ten-minute walk for nearly 1.5 million people or 23% of our residents. The Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs provided 1,200 grants to municipalities and land trusts and EEA’s agencies - DAR, DCR and DFG - completed hundreds of conservation acquisitions.

View Report

MLTC Spring Steering Committee Meeting - May 16
April 13, 2014

MLTC Steering Committee Spring Meeting
Friday, May 16, 2014 , 12:15 pm - 3 pm
Location - UMass Medical School, South Street, Shrewsbury

                   Directions here  

Massachusetts Land Trusts, Coalition Members and Friends,

All Massachusetts Land Trusts, MLTC Member organizations and Friends are encouraged to send a representative and participate in the Mass. Land Trust Coalition Steering Committee Meetings. All state and Federal agency personnel active in Massachusetts land protection are cordially invited, as well.

View Steering Committee meeting minutes:
Feb 16, 2014 Minutes
May 16, 2014 Minutes

Materials from February Annual Meeting:
-View candidates elected to Board of Trustees for 2014 here
-View materials on the new Mass OHV Law here
-View letter on proposed pipeline here.
 

2014 Steering Committee meeting dates:

Friday, May 16, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014

 

Suggestion For Those Doing Spring Stewardship
March 1, 2014

A bonus for those hours pulling garlic mustard...

Handout and Recipe

with thanks to Amy Janovsky

Return on Investment in Parks & Open Space - Get report!
January 18, 2014

Yesterday, the MA conservation community held an event at the State House to announce the release of a report: “The Return on Investment in Parks and Open Space in Massachusetts” authored by the Trust for Public Land and funded by over 25 conservation NGOs.

Highlights from the report:

  • For every $1 invested in land conservation, $4 in natural goods and services is returned to the Massachusetts economy.
  • Visitors to Massachusetts spend an estimated $16.9 billion each year and generate $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. The total economic impact of this travel is $26.9 billion. Tourism supports nearly 125,000 jobs, which provides $3.63 billion in wages per year.
  • Outdoor recreation generates $10 billion in consumer spending, $739 million in state and local tax revenue, 90,000 jobs, and $3.5 billion in wages and salaries each year in the state.
  • Agriculture, forestry, commercial fishing, and related processing activity are responsible for $13 billion in output, and 147,000 jobs in Massachusetts.

Over 100 attendees -- ranging from state elected officials to agency leaders to conservation organizations -- heard statewide leaders from business, environmental agencies, municipalities and land conservation organizations, including:

    Representative Anne Gobi, Chair, Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture
    Secretary Rick Sullivan, Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs
    Mayor Lisa Wong, City of  Fitchburg
    Will Manzer, Board Member, Outdoor Industry Association
    Bob Perschel, Executive Director, New England Forestry Foundation

Links:

        Report Summary here
        Complete Report: here
        Photos of the event here

Also see:
        Sample Outreach Letter
        Press Release
        State House News Service article

The Commonwealth Conservation Council will be using this data and other compelling information to make a strong case for the Environmental Bond – a $911M piece of legislation that will provide capital funds for the next four years for land acquisition, aquatic restoration and air and water quality testing (among a myriad of programs).     

12th Annual Land Trust - Agency Retreat, Feb 2014
January 17, 2014

 

The 12th Annual Land Trust - State Agency Retreat was held:

    When:   Thursday, Feb 6, 2014   9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
                  Friday, Feb 7, 2014  8:30 AM - 12 noon
     Where: Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA
     Cost:    Free

Over 50 representatives from land trusts and state agencies attended this two-day event.
Final agenda available here.  
 

How to Communicate Effectively to Build Support for Conservation
March 18, 2013

This report contains recommendations for communicating effectively to build support for conservation, based on a representative national survey of American voters commissioned by The Nature Conservancy in 2012 and conducted by a bipartisan research team: Democratic polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates and Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies.

Download report here.

Also of interest is the paper, "What Public Opinion Research Tells Us About Conservation Communications" by the Steve Alexander Group, available here.

2013 Mass Land Conservation Conference Materials
March 17, 2013

Plenary Keynote Speaker 

Catherine Tumber, author of Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World (MIT Press, 2012).
Catherine Tumber presentation 

Biographies of Conference Presenters

Workshop Materials

1C. Effective Effective Legislative Advocacy for Conservation
      
Karen Heyman, Mass Audubon; Steve Long, The Nature Conservancy
       Advocacy and Influence Presentation (pdf)

1D. Speed Visioning II: Updating the Conservation Vision from 2010
      
Bob O’Connor, MA EOEEA; Kurt Gaertner, MA EOEEA; Bob Wilber, Mass Audubon
       2010 Conservation  Vision Write-up (pdf)
       2013 Conservation Vision Write-up (pdf) 

1E. Baseline Documentation Reports for Effective CR Stewardship
       Andrew Bentley, Sally Naser, The Trustees of Reservations
       Baseline Documentation Presentation (pdf)     
       Report Contents Outline (pdf)
       Property Conditions Report (pdf)
       Property Conditions Update Report (pdf)

1F.  Integrated Management for Invasive Plants & Identification with Go Botany
      
Elizabeth Farnsworth, NE Wildflower Society; Lincoln Fish, Bay State Forestry Service
       Integrated Management Presentation (pdf)
       Go Botany Presentation (pdf)
       Go Botany Brochure (pdf)
       Invasive Plant Exercise
(pdf)

1H. Basics of Planning & Funding Land Protection Projects
     
Christa Collins, Sudbury Valley Trustees; David Santomenna, Essex County Greenbelt
      Basics of Planning & Funding Presentation (pdf)

1I.  Amending Conservation Restrictions: Can Something Perpetual Change? 
      Jonathan Bockian, Robert Levite
      Amending Conservation Restrictions Presentation (pdf)
      Amending Conservation Restrictions Paper (pdf)

1J. Property Tax Exemptions for Land Held by Land Trusts
      Ray Lyons, Attorney; Robert Perschel, New England Forestry Foundation
      Property Tax Exemption Presentation (pdf)
      Tax Calendar for Land Trusts (pdf)

1K. Small Land Trusts: Building the Tolls for Success
      
Charles Knox, Mass Land Trust Coalition; Rob Cardeiro, Land Trust Alliance;
       Erin Heskett, Land Trust Alliance
       Small Land Trusts Presentation (pdf)
       Observations on Small Land Trust Report (pdf)
       Building and Governing a Land Trust (pdf)
       Funding a Land Trust Handout (pdf)
       Newsletter Handout (pdf)

1L. A New Generation of Smart Growth
      Andre Leroux, MA Smart Growth Alliance; Ina Anderson, MA Smart Growth Alliance;
      Heather McMann, Groundwork Lawrence; Buzz Constable, The Trustees of Reservations
      New Generation of Smart Growth Presentation (pdf)

2A. Property Tax Benefits & Fiscal Impacts of Conservation
     
Sarah LaValley, City of Northampton; Jay Closser, LandVest
      Property Tax Benefits & Fiscal Impacts Presentation (pdf)
      Property Tax Benefits & Fiscal Impacts Handout (pdf)

2B. Raising Your Voice on Community
      Cormac Collier, Emily MacKinnon, Nantucket Land Council
      Raising Your Voice Presentation (pdf)

2D. Effective Enforcement of Conservation Restriction Violations
     
Chris Rodstrum & Sally Naser, The Trustees of Reservations
       CR Enforcement Presentation (pdf)

2F. Funding Opportunities at MA EOEEA
     
Celia Riechel, Melissa Cryan, MA EOEEA
      2013 EEA Grants (pdf)

2H. The Ever-Changing World of Donation & Valuation Substantiation Rules
      
Stefan Nagel, Law Office of Stephen J. Small, PC; Jonathan Avery, Avery & Associates
       Agenda and Contact Information (pdf)
       Donation and Valuation Substantion Samples (pdf)

2I. The Massachusetts Conservation Land Tax Credit (CLTC)
     
Irene Del-Bono, MA EOEEA, Paula Pariseau, The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts
      MA Conservation Land Tax Credit Application Process Chart (pdf)
      MA Conservation Land Tax Credit Application (pdf)
      MA Conservation Land Tax Credit Regulations (pdf)
      Compact Information Handout (pdf)

2J. DIY Strategic Planning for Small Land Trusts      
      Henrietta Jordan, Trailmarker Associates
      Do It Yourself Strategic Planning Outline (pdf)
      Strategic Planning Process (pdf)
      Strategic Planning Spreadsheet (Excel)

2K. And Now, Please Put on Your Advancement Hat
      Molly Fannon Williams, Philanthropy Consultant; Gabriela Silva, Wildlands Trust
      Audit Outline (pdf)
      Development Coordinator Job Description (pdf)
      Questions When Creating Development Plan (pdf)
      Sample Gift Tables (pdf)
      Wildlands Trust Development Committee Charter (pdf)

2M. Building Vibrancy: Creative Placemaking & Gateway City Green Spaces
       Ben Forman, Gateway City Innovation Inst; Liz Nunn, Loeb Fellow
       Building Vibrancy Presentation (pdf)

3B. Great Outdoors & Gateway City Parks  
       Stephanie Cooper, Kurt Gaertner, Melissa Cryan, MA EOEEA, Div of Conservation Services;
        Brad Buschur, Groundwork Lawrence
        Great Outdoors & Gateway City Parks Presentation (pdf)

3E. Administering a Deer Hunting Program on Land Trust Properties
      
Dave Rimmer, Essex County Greenbelt; Russ Hopping, The Trustees of Reservations
       Deer Presentation (pdf)
       Grafton Land Trust Hunting Policy (pdf)
       Greenbelt Hunting Fact Sheet 2013 (pdf)
       Greenbelt Sample Hunting Permission Letter 2013 (pdf)
       Medfield MA Deer Hunting FAQ (pdf)
       TTOR Hunting Policy (pdf)

3F. Organizing Successful Landscape-Scale Conservation Projects
     
Jay Rasku, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust; Janet Morrison, North County Land Trust
      Landowners Guide (pdf)
      Landowner Update Letter (pdf)
      Winchendon Springs Implementation Plan Summary (pdf)

3G. Legal Roundtable
      Moderator: Buzz Constable, Lincoln Land Conservation Trust
      Donation of Property 2012 vs 2013 (pdf)
      Common Law of Merger (pdf)
 

 

All Volunteer Land Trust Survey Results
February 16, 2013

Earlier this year, the Mass Land Trust Coalition asked all-volunteer land trusts to respond to a survey created in collaboration with the Land Trust Alliance. The Coalition wishes to thank the 73 Massachusetts land trusts who participated in the survey. Read what those land trusts had to say about their work, their successes and their challenges here.

Land Trust Retreat
February 15, 2013

Hello Fellow Land Conservationists,

The 11th annual Land Trust - State Agency Retreat was held:

When:  Thursday, Feb 7th, 2013, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (dinner afterwards)

            Where: Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA

Who:    MLTC Land Trusts & State Land Agency Staff

Cost:     FREE

 

Agenda available here.

Over 70 land conservation practitioners gathered in Petersham for this exciting event. We thank all who took the time to attend. And special thanks to all of the speakers who made this such a memorable day.

New Small Land Trust Assistance Program
February 14, 2013

The Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition is offering a new assistance program to small land trusts.

Thanks to a partnership agreement with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), MLTC is initiating a "circuit rider" program designed to help small land trusts, focusing on trusts that have no staff or only a part-time staff person. Experienced MLTC staff and consultants will come to your land trust, free-of-charge, to help your Board and your staff, if any, assess your organization. We'll help you identify your trust's needs and create an action plan, tailored specifically to your organization and designed to assist it in taking a leap forward toward long-term effectiveness and sustainability.
 
More information here.
Southeastern Mass Land Trust Convocation Feb 2nd
January 3, 2013

You are invited to attend the

Southeastern Massachusetts Land Trust Convocation
Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 8:30 am to Noon
Canal Club Facility, 100 Trowbridge Rd off Bourne Bridge Rotary,
Quality Inn Hotel, Bourne, 02532

Co-sponsored by The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts,
Buzzards Bay Coalition, and the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition

If you wish to attend, please rsvp to Mark Robinson at: mark@thecompact.net

Agenda here

Mass Easement Defense Subcommittee Meeting
December 6, 2012

The first meeting of the re-formed Massachusetts Easement Defense Subcommittee (MEDS) will be January 31st from 1-4pm at Mass Audubon's Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary in Worcester, MA.

Agenda available here.

The goal of MEDS is to provide a forum for substantive discussions on topics of interest to the land trust community and for knowledgeable practitioners to share their experience to benefit all. The meeting is open to all Members and Friends of MLTC, and should be of special interest to senior land conservation practitioners and attorneys.

A detailed agenda will be available soon. Topics for this first meeting will be:
(1) discussion of the purpose of MEDS and how it will function
(2) discussion of the Model CR

If you wish to attend, please rsvp to Kathy McGrath at: kmcgrath@massland.org

Contribute to the Mass Land Trust Coalition's Annual Appeal
December 5, 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition looks back upon a very productive year.  And now, with your support of our annual fund drive, we look ahead to further expanding our efforts to serve our state’s land trust community – from the Atlantic coastal headlands to Connecticut Valley farmlands to the forested uplands of the Berkshires.

During two decades as our state’s land trust service center, and with over 130 land conservation members across Massachusetts, the Coalition has served as our state’s key forum for educational outreach, legislative awareness, and networking, all to benefit the important mission of Mass land trusts – protecting farms, forests, wildlife habitat, and community parklands.  This year, with its newly-achieved 501 (c) (3) status now in hand, MLTC hired its first executive director, established a permanent home office, and carried out a host of outreach activities.

In the coming year we plan to expand upon these successes, with even more outreach activities designed to help our state’s land trusts carry out their important conservation missions.  But that of course requires financial assistance.  Please know that we would very much appreciate a year-end gift that will allow us to continue down a pathway of conservation progress.  Protecting land for present and future generations is not always easy.  It requires an abundance of know-how and a host of informational tools and services, services that our Coalition’s statewide center provides.  We hope you’ll support our efforts and contribute to our important conservation role.  Thank you.

                             Charles Knox, Executive Director                  Ed Becker, Board President

                                                                        Get Appeal Form here

2013 Mass Conservation Land Tax Credit Application Available
November 3, 2012

The new 2013 Conservation Land Tax Credit (CLCT)  Application is now available.  Please use this version for all CLTC applications from November 21, 2012 forward.  You can find it at http://www.mass.gov/eea/state-parks-beaches/land-use-and-management/land-conservation/massachusetts-conservation-tax-credit-program.html

The web page also has a link to Frequently Asked Questions which we will regularly update for you.

2012 has been a great success so far with 56 new applications. Some have had to move to 2013 for various reasons but we are on track to see 2, 523 acres protected with the $2 million in tax credits.  Thank you to everyone who works so hard to guide donors through the entire process.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the program.

Tom Anderson, Program Coordinator

Conservation Land Tax Credit Program
EOEEA, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114-2524
(617) 626-1013