What's New


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

Exhibit at the 2013 Mass Land Conservation Conference
November 3, 2012

There are 30 exhibitor spots open for the Conference on March 23, 2013. The conference theme, “What is a Green Future Worth: From Rural Landscapes to City Parks” provides an exciting backdrop for exhibitors concerned with the sustainability of our communities today and for future generations. At the 2013 conference, exhibitors will benefit from a raffle driven “exhibitor passport” to increase exhibit area traffic.To donate a raffle item to the Mass Land Conservation Conference or if you have any questions, please email kmcgrath@massland.org.

The 2012 Mass Land Conservation Conference (MLCC) offered 36 workshops attracting close to 500 members of the land conservation community and featured 32 exhibitors.

Download the form to register to exhibit at the 2013 Mass Land Conservation Conference
Form instructions: Please download the form, fill in fields and save. You may then email the completed form as an attachment to kmcgrath@massland.org or print and send form along with payment.

Mass Land Trust Coalition's 2013 Exhibitor Policy is available here

Mass Conservation Land Tax Credit Update - Sept 2012
September 19, 2012

This will serve as an update to all interested parties about the availability of the Conservation Land Tax Credit (CLTC) for calendar 2012.

As of today, August 10, 2012 we have received 46 new applications in calendar 2012, of which some have been denied, cancelled or withdrawn. There were also 3 applications that were carried over from 2011 to 2012. Together, these applications add up to over 2,223 acres of great conservation land.  

The 2012 ?cap? for the CLTC program is $2 million, and we have reached that cap at this time. This means that if all the current applications are carried through to a $50,000 tax credit, or to their appraised tax credit amount, $2,000,000 will be expended. Please note that some current applications may still appraise lower than expected and others may yet be cancelled, which would therefore free up small dollar amounts for reallocation to the next application in line. (We may be able to fund one or two more applications)

All applications that have been submitted up to #0079 have funding reserved for them and will be funded if they successfully complete the entire gift/bargain sale, tax credit process.

Applications that come in from this point through the end of 2012 will be fully evaluated for CLTC eligibility and the applicants will be notified of that eligibility determination. They will also then be notified that they are on the 2012 waiting list and will be contacted if funds become available. If no funding becomes available by November 16, 2012, they will be asked to move their application and the closing on their donation to calendar 2013. Their place in ?line? will be preserved and they will receive funding for the tax credit in 2013.

Please also note that you must apply to the tax credit program before you actually donate the land or sign a conservation restriction. If you are submitting a new application please be sure to use the latest version located at http://www.mass.gov/eea/land-use-habitats/land-conservation/massachusetts-conservation-tax-credit-program..html

Thank you.

Tom Anderson
Program Coordinator II
(617) 626-1013

100,000 Acre Celebration
August 20, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES CONSERVATION OF 100,000 ACRES OF OPEN SPACE

Massachusetts Protected Open Space Now Exceeds Developed Land

Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the Patrick-Murray Administration's ambitious land conservation efforts have protected more than 100,000 acres of open space in just five and a half years. The amount of protected open space now stands at 1.25 million acres, for the first time exceeding the amount of developed land in Massachusetts.

“I am extremely proud to announce that the Commonwealth, partnering with local municipalities, land trusts, conservation organizations, businesses and private landowners, has protected over 100,000 acres of land since 2007,” said Governor Patrick. “We have conserved open space and developed parks in over 310 communities, leaving a lasting legacy that touches every corner of the state.”

Governor Patrick announced the land protection milestone at Halfway Pond, where the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and its Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) recently acquired 94 acres of wildlife habitat for $2.5 million and received a gift conservation restriction on another 28.4 acres from A.D. Makepeace Company.

Read more of this press release here.
Check out informal photos of the event here, courtesy of Russ Cohen, and a rare sighting at the event here.

100,000 Acres Invitaiton
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.

Changes:

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

2012 MASS LAND CONSERVATION CONFERENCE

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:

http://www.mass.gov/eea/land-use-habitats/land-conservation/massachusetts-conservation-tax-credit-program.html

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. 
www.americantrails.org/resources/accessible/power-mobility-federal-register.html

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.
www.ada.gov