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You can help preserve what none of us wants to lose: Open land in the Eastern Panhandle

General Operating Criteria

  1. No officer or director will represent or assure landowner of legal interest in land without the backing of the majority vote of the board. No one will represent to landowner whether an easement meets IRS criteria for tax deduction.

  2. The board retains the discretion over the acquisition or disposition of conservation easements and other interests in land and will review each on a case-by-case basis with the land conservation criteria as a guide.

  3. The land trust will not accept any conservation easement of interest in land without a plan for endowment/stewardship fund and a plan for monitoring and enforcement.

  4. The land trust will not engage in any project that does not have public benefits as indicated in federal IRS guidelines.

  5. The land trust will protect its public image by not accepting any easements of interest in land that has the perception of unethical practices. The board will first work for solid community support in cases of controversial land deals.

  6. The land trust will consider if a potential conservation property is large enough for its conservation values to be sustained if protected by itself. If not, adjacent pieces must be involved before a legal interest is accepted in the initial property.

  7. Easements may be jointly held with another established land trust, and Farmland Protection Boards.

  8. Protection of property will be consistent with local zoning and comprehensive planning, and existing public conservation programs.

  9. When allocating resources to two otherwise equal pieces of land, protection of the most threatened will be given priority.

  10. The land trust will not be involved in projects in which the landowner insists on provisions in a conservation easement that would seriously diminish the propertyís primary conservation values or the land trustís ability to enforce it.

  11. The land trust will not be involved in projects in which an easement would be unusually difficult to enforce, as in fractured ownerships or with ongoing incidences of destructive trespass.

  12. The land trust will not accept legal interest in a property with unusual or special liability exposure.

  13. The Land Trust will abide by the LTA (Land Trust Alliance) standards and practices.

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Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle :: PO Box 2240 :: Martinsburg, WV 25401 :: email: