SERVICES - Stewardship - Stewardship Explained
What does "stewardship" mean?
According to LTA, conservation easement stewardship is defined as all
aspects of a land trust's management of a conservation easement after
its acquisition, including monitoring, landowner relations,
recordkeeping, processing landowner notices, requests for approval and
amendments, managing stewardship funds, and enforcement and defense.
What is a stewardship fund? Does WLT have one?
Yes, WLT has a stewardship fund named the Legacy Fund. In essence, this fund is a separate, dedicated fund established by WLT to provide financial resources for easement stewardship costs. Learn more about the Legacy Fund.
What is a baseline report or invetory?
A baseline documentation report, or baseline inventory, seeks to summarize the important conservation values (wildlife habitat, open spaces, agriculture) conserved under the easement and the relevant conditions of the property (buildings, etc) as necessary to monitor and enforce the easement. WLT staff members prepare these reports for potential easement projects after one or more visits to the property , and they typically include maps, photographs, and other relevant information.
What does annual easement monitoring entail?
WLT visits every conserved property at least once a year for monitoring. This means that a WLT staff member, along with the landowner(s)s and/or ranch managers when possible, tour the easement property to ensure compliance with the terms of the easement and to document findings. While visiting different parts of the property at predetermined GPS points, photographs are taken that are included in the monitoring report. This visit also provides an opportunity to talk with a WLT staff member about upcoming plans for the property and ask questions or express concerns.
I've conserved my property with WLT, now what?
In addition to annual monitoring, WLT's Stewardship program provides conserved property owners with information on contacts for a variety of land management issues - from weed and pests to habitat enhancement. Occasionally, opportunity and funding arises for enhancement projects on conserved properties, including native seed collection, wildlife/livestock-friendly fencing, and swan ponds.
WLT is also happy to provide conserved property owners with large-format (plotter size) maps and GIS information related to easements.