What's New

2012 Conference Materials
March 20, 2012

Plenary Keynote Speaker
Inventing the Future of Food (28 MB) or PDF Version (8 MB) - Gary Hirshberg, Chairman Stonyfield Farm

1D   Deer Populations on Land Trust Lands - Ellie Horwitz, Whit Beals, Russ Hopping, Jim Lentowski,
        Tom O'Shea, Thomas Rawinski
       Audubon Magazine Deer Article
       Bow Hunting Form & Hunting Form
       Deer History I
       Deer History II
       Deer Info Sources
       Losing Hunter Access
       Nantucket Hunting Association Model
       Nantucket Deer Hunter Guidelines
       Rhode Island 2011
       Newtown CT Final Report
       Weston Deer Issue

1F   Effective Enforcement of Conservation Restriction Violations - Chris Rodstrom, Sally Naser, Andrew

       Bentley & Laura Mattei
        CR Stewardship Policies
       Staff CR Enforcement Procedures

1G  Enhancing the Edibility of Conserved Landscapes
Edible Native Plants Handout
       Consultants on Edible Native Species

1J  The New Mass Conservation Land Tax Credit - Mark Robinson, Irene Del Bono 
       & Jonathan Avery 
       CLTC Info Sheet
       Mass Tax Credit Flow Chart
       Mass Conservation Land Tax Credit Presentation

1K  CRs Granted in Connection with Conservation Developments - Robert Levite
       & Joel Russell 
       Conservation Restrictions in Conservation Subdivisions Presentation

1L  Board Development Boot Camp - Henrietta Jordan
       Model Recordkeeping Policy
       Board Self Evaluation
       Land Trust Board Member Self Evaluation
       Model Conflict of Interest Policy
       Model Conservation Easement Enforcement Policy
       Model CE Amendment Policy
       An Intentional Approach to Land Trust Board Development
       Financial Records and Reporting

2A  Making More Land Available for Farming
       New Entry Sustainable Farming Project - Rebecca Weaver

2E  Avoiding Homelessness for Conservation Restrictions - Stephen Johnson,
      Buzz Constable & Susan Crane
       SVT's Model MOU for Co-held CRs

2G  Managing Trail Conflicts - John Kowaleski
        Managing Trail Conflicts Presentation

2i    Integrating GIS Resource Analysis Into Landowner Outreach - David Santomenna
        & Vanessa Johnson
       Integrating GIS Resource Analysis  Presentation

2J   Amending Conservation Restrictions: A Last Resort - Jonathan Bockian
        & Robert Levite
       Amending Conservation Restrictions Presentation
      Amending Conservation Restrictions Legal Perspective 

2L  Mergers and Other Collaborations of Land Trusts in Massachusetts 
- Mark Robinson & Kristen DeBoer
       Mergers and other Collaborations of Land Trusts in Massachusetts

3E  How All Land Trusts Can Respond to Climate Change - Bob Wilber, Bob O'Connor & Andy Finton
       Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report

3F  Low Cost GIS for Land Trusts: Discounted and Open Source Software & Mapping Tools - Matthew

      Mayo, Jeff Collins & Vin Antil
       Low Cost GIS for Land Trusts

3H  The Basics of Planning & Funding Land Conservation - Christa Collins, 
       Susan Crane & Narain Schroeder
       Sample Due Diligence Policy

3I    Legal Roundtable - Buzz Constable, Irene Del Bono, Robert Levite, Kathleen
       O'Donnell, & Greg Peterson
       Voluntary Dissolution of a Public Charity

3K   Strategic Conservation Planning for Land Trusts in Hard Times - Ole Amundsen
       Strategic Conservation Planning for Land Trusts in Hard Times


Conservation Fund’s Land Trust Loan Program Expanding
January 11, 2012

The Conservation Fund’s Land Trust Loan Program is expanding. Reggie Hall, who heads The Conservation Fund’s Land Trust Loan Program, is reaching out to land trust leaders and community members across the country to learn more about trends in the field, financing needs and partnership opportunities.  As a partner to The Conservation Fund myself, I have good things to say about working with them to get conservation done more quickly and effectively.  The Franklin Land Trust has borrowed more than $6M through 30+ loans to protect more than 2,500 acres in our region.
-Rich Hubbard

View background on the loan program

Massachusetts Commission on Financing Forest Conservation Report Released
January 11, 2012

The Massachusetts Commission on Financing Forest Conservation report offers a thoughtful set of recommendations for increasing the pace of forest conservation in Massachusetts. The Commission was chaired by Leigh Youngblood of Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust and assisted by Jim Levitt of Harvard Forest.  

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, legislators and members of the Commission announced the completion of the Commission’s report on February 13, 2012.

View Summary

View Report 

Land Trust - State Collaboration Successes
January 10, 2012

The annual State Agency - Land Trust retreat, held on February 2 - 3, 2012,  was a valuable opportunity for fine-tuning the collaboration/interaction between land trusts and state agencies.

View a report on some collaboration successes 

Conservation Appraisals and OSRPs for Small Communities grant – Expanded and extended!
January 10, 2012

In an effort to meet demand for funding of Open Space and Recreation Plans (OSRPs), EEA has issued a revised Conservation Appraisals and OSRPs for Small Communities Grant opportunity.


Extended deadline to June 11, 2012

Expanded opportunities to meet OSRP reimbursement requirement:

To receive OSRP funding, the town must submit a complete application to any one of the following Division of Conservation Services grant programs in the Fiscal Year 2013 round: LAND, PARC, Drinking Water Supply Protection, Landscape Partnership, or, they may commit to holding an interest on a property that is the subject of an FY13 Conservation Partnership grant application submitted by an eligible non-profit.

The program provides reimbursement funding to towns with a population of 6,000 or below for OSRPs and/or appraisals contracted in order to apply to the LAND grant program. Funding is non-competitive; all eligible applicants will receive contracts on a rolling basis until all available funding is allocated. Towns must have an executed state contract prior to beginning work. To receive funding for an appraisal, the Town must submit an application to the FY13 LAND grant program. Reimbursement under this grant is not contingent upon the town's selection to receive funding through other DCS grant programs.

Contact: Celia Riechel, 617-626-1187 celia.riechel@state.ma.us

2012 Mass Land Conservation Conference a Great Success!
January 9, 2012


Conference Brochure available here.
See conference workshop materials here.

22nd Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference
Working Lands: Farms, Forests and Conservation
Saturday, March 24, 2012 – Worcester, MA

Thanks to our five sponsors, 80 presenters and many volunteers, the 22nd Mass Land Conservation Conference was a great day for 491 attendees.

About the conference: This annual, day-long training and networking event provides land trust board members, staff, volunteers, municipal commission members and others interested in land conservation with the information, skills, and connections they need to be most effective.

The 2012 conference theme is Working Lands: Farms, Forests and Conservation
with a focus on farm and forest stewardship, hot topics in agriculture such as renewable energy, and community-based garden and farm projects.

In 2012, the workshop tracks will be:
- Community Conservation
- Emerging Issues & Special Topics
- Food, Farms &Conservation
- Land Management & Stewardship
- Land Protection Tools & Techniques
- Legal, Tax and Compliance Matters
- Organizational Management & Fundraising

The Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference is co-convened by the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition and The Trustees of Reservations' Putnam Conservation Institute. Conference sponsors include: American Farmland Trust, Land Trust Alliance, Mass Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land.

Informationn on Conference Exhibitors here.

Regulations and Application for 2012 Mass Land Conservation Tax Credit
January 2, 2012

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
 Regulations and applications for the Conservation Land Tax Credit


This note is to notify everyone that has expressed interest in the CLTC program that there is a new 2012 Conservation Land Tax Credit Application on the EEA website at this time.  (see link below)  Please disregard the older 2011 version originally listed there in favor of this new one.  No major changes, just organized in what we hope to be a more user friendly format.  If you already sent in a 2012 application with the old format you do not need to resend it.

Check the CLTC web site every so often as we will be posting additional information now and then.  For instance, within a week we will have a document posted there that better explains how we evaluate and weight the Conservation Values and Purposes presented in applications.

The CLTC program does have a $2 million dollar allocation for 2012 so applications are welcome.  Also, please note that applicants can apply for a tax credit of less than the $50,000 maximum.  Last year we gave a credit for a $20,000 donation so there is no reason not to include smaller donations in the mix.

Thank you for your interest in the program.

Link to 2012 CLTC Page:


Tom Anderson, Executive Secretary
State Commission for Soil, Water & Related Resources
EOEEA, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114-2524
(617) 626-1013


View Regulations
View Summary Sheet


MassLIFT AmeriCorps Request for 2012 Host Site Applications
January 1, 2012

The Massachusetts Land Initiative for Tomorrow (MassLIFT) AmeriCorps program invites non-profit organizations and public agencies working on land conservation in Massachusetts to apply for hosting members in its 2012 service year (September 11, 2012 – August 23, 2013). The program aims to meet community needs for land protection and stresses regional collaboration. The MassLIFT program supports 20 AmeriCorps members, each completing 1,700 hours of service over an 11.5 month term. MassLIFT members serve in one of four positions: regional conservationists, land stewards, community outreach coordinators, and service learning coordinators. The 2012 MassLIFT Host Site Application Packet and Host Site Application Forms is posted on the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust website at http://www.mountgrace.org/join-masslift

Host Site applications are due by March 1, 2012 and host sites will be selected by April 2, 2012.

For more information contact the MassLIFT AmeriCorps program manager: Dee Robbins (Email: robbins@mountgrace.org Phone: 978-833-4192)

Mass Releases Climate Change Adaptation Report
September 27, 2011


Section 9 of The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, directed the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) to convene an advisory committee to develop a report analyzing strategies for adapting to the predicted changes in climate.

This report, prepared by EEA and the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee, is the first broad overview of climate change as it affects Massachusetts, the impacts of this change, vulnerabilities of multiple sectors ranging from natural resources, infrastructure, public health, and the economy. It also provides an analysis of potential strategies that could better prepare us for this changing world.

View report

New Rules for Public Trail Access for Disabled
September 13, 2011

Department of Justice
Rules effective March 2011

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued new rules regarding access to recreation facilities by people with mobility disabilities. These rules apply to land trust trails that are open to the public. The rules require the removal of barriers to wheelchair access to trails so that there are 32” openings for users. Rules include access for Other Power Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMDs), although there is nothing in the new rules that affirmatively requires any land trust or agency to make physical changes to trails to accommodate the use of OPDMDs.

The following resources can help clarify these rules and land trust responsibilities:

Public Trails and New Rules for Access
A presentation given at the Mass Land Trust Coalition Steering Committee meeting on Friday, September 9, 2011, by Gary Briere , Mass Dept of Conservation and Recreation
View or download presentation

Interim Procedure for the Use of Power-Driven Mobility Devices on Mass Audubon Sanctuaries
Provided as a sample, this interim procedure provides guidelines for the use of other power-driven mobility devices (OPDMD) on land owned and/or managed by Mass Audubon.
View or download sample procedure

The American Trails website which offers a growing library of land owner experiences with the requirements under the new rule. 

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations amending the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title II regulation, 28 CFR Part 35, effective March 15, 2011.

Training Events in Western Mass
September 10, 2011

Valley Event

Thursday, November 10
Conte Building, USFW, Hadley MA
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm


All land trust and conservation organization board, staff and volunteers and town conservation agents are invited to an evening workshop on Conservation Restriction & Land Management: Challenges and Opportunities presented by Wil Hastings (Hilltown Land Trust), Alain Peteroy (Franklin Land Trust) & Doug Bruce (Berkshire Natural Resources Council). Network over refreshments, join the discussion on land management challenges and successes and participate in a discussion on opportunities and challenges facing small land trusts.

Hosted by the Mass Land Trust Coalition, , please RSVP to MLTC by emailing LSarquilla@MassLand.org with subject line: “Valley Event” And please pass this invitation on to your board, volunteers, staff, and town conservation agents.

Berkshires Event

Thank you to all who participated in making our October 19th Berkshires Event a great success! 


PILOT Payments and Non-Profits: Resources
August 28, 2011

PILOT Payments and Land Trusts

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) has recently released its position paper on efforts by local government entities to collect payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs). This issue has serious implications for land trusts.

Read the MNN position paper in our Land Trust Operations library at: www.massland.org/library/mass-nonprofit-networks-pilot-position-statement

Visit the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network website at www.massnonprofitnet.org/resources/ for more information and resources.

Deadline for Submission of Charitable Conservation Restrictions - October 15th
August 26, 2011

Dear MLTC community,

It is that time again, when I need to establish a deadline for submission of charitable Conservation Restrictions for those who will be seeking a federal tax deduction. Many thanks go to all those who help with the review process, especially Arthur Hughes, who has generously and graciously donated his time and considerable expertise to reviewing CRs, to Nicole Sicard, who often stays late to notarize and send out CRs, and our legal department that manages to fit reviewing the CRs into their too busy schedules! Not to mention the extraordinary patience and understanding of all of you as we do our best to get the CRs back to you as quickly as we can.

Nevertheless, we must still set a deadline -- October 15th -- for submission of charitable CRs to guarantee review in time to complete and record the CRs by the December 31st. Please do not call if you can't get your CR to us until a week or two later - Arthur and I will do our best to review every CR in a timely fashion, including those submitted after the deadline. This year is a bit more complicated because of the new tax credit program, but we will do our best to get everything done on time.

Irene DelBono

Conservation Restriction Reviewer

New Land Protection Grant Program for 500+ Acre Parcels
August 9, 2011

August 09, 2011

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary (EEA) Richard K. Sullivan Jr. today announced the Landscape Partnership Program, an innovative new grant initiative that encourages non-governmental organizations already pursuing large landscape-scale land protection investments to partner with the state and local communities.

Through existing state capital funds already dedicated to land protection, the Landscape Partnership program will offer $4 million in competitive grants to municipalities, non-profit land trusts and EEA agencies – the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR), Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) – for projects that permanently protect parcels of land of at least 500 acres. Applications for the new grant program are due October 28.

Read more of this press release here
For more information on the grants or to apply, visit www.mass.gov/eea/dcs-grants


Mass Conservation Land Tax Credit Regulations
June 7, 2011

Final work on the Draft regulations for the new Massachusetts Conservation Land Tax Credit is in progress. Two public hearings were held in June and written testimony was accepted until June 27, 2011. You can view the draft regulations at the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs web site at www.mass.gov/envir under Land Use, Habitats and Wildlife, select Land Conservation, or obtained them by calling Tom Anderson at (617) 626-1013. 



 Notice is hereby given that the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA) under its authority pursuant to Chapter 509 of the Acts of 2008, and in conformance with M.G.L. Chapter 30A, will hold a public hearing on new regulations at 301 CMR 14.00 (Massachusetts Conservation Land Tax Credit Program)

Chapter 509 of the Acts of 2008 establishes a state income tax credit for landowners who voluntarily donate qualifying conservation land to a municipality, the state or a nonprofit conservation organization. Under the initiative, EEA must determine whether properties proposed for donation meet public interest standards for natural resource protection.  These regulations define interests in real property that are eligible for certification as a Qualified donation under M.G.L. c. 62, § (6)(p) and under M.G.L. c. 63, § 38AA. Eligible lands include those that protect drinking water supplies, wildlife habitat and scenic vistas.  (The Department of Revenue will also be promulgating regulations to implement this program at 830 CMR 62.6.4.) 

Written testimony will be accepted until 5:00 pm on Monday, June 27, 2011.  Written testimony should be submitted via email to the address thomas.anderson@state.ma.us or via regular mail to: Tom Anderson, Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge St., Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114.  Copies of the proposed regulations are available on the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs web site at www.mass.gov/envir under Land Conservation, or may be obtained by calling Tom Anderson at (617) 626-1013.