Penelope Pierce - Montana Association of Land Trusts

National, State and Local Funding
Sources for Conservation Easements
Montana Association of Land Trusts
Montana Conservation Easement Conference for
Financial, Legal and Real Estate Professionals
May 15, 2014
• Gallatin Valley Land Trust
• Purchased vs. Donated Conservation
– Trends - Montana and National
– General rule on Incentives
– Purchasers
– Land trust role in purchasing easements
• Funding Opportunities
– Public: Local, Regional, Federal
– Private: Mitigation banks, foundations
• Case Studies
Gallatin Valley Land Trust
• Since 1990 - 501(c)(3) non-profit
• 43,000 acres conserved
• 70+ miles of trails
• Accredited
• Solid financial footing
• Professional staff
• 2,000+ members
• Serving Gallatin Valley and beyond
Trends in Private Land Conservation
2010 National Land Trust Survey:
• Acres conserved by local, state & national land trusts in US = 47M
• 41% increase in acres conserved from 2005 to 2010 in MT
• There are 13 land trusts in MT
General Rules on Incentives
Fully Donated &
Costs Covered by
Fully Purchased &
No Costs Covered
by Landowner
Conservation Easement Terms
Number of Parties with Interest
Time to Complete Transaction
Who Funds Purchased CE’s?
– Cities/Counties
– State
– Federal Government
– Foundations
– Individuals
What Do They Have in Common?
• Seek to protect a natural resource value
– Soil and Ag Land
– Water
– Wildlife
– Scenic Views
– Public Access
• Want to see their investment leveraged
What Role Can Land Trusts Play in
Purchased Easement Programs?
• Match landowner intent
with funder interest and
financial capacity
• Assist the funding source
by ensuring strategic
Local/Regional Public Funding Sources
2010 : 83% of land conservation
ballot measures passed nationwide,
providing over $2 billion for
County Open Lands Programs
– Gallatin
– Lewis & Clark
– Missoula
– Ravalli
County Open Lands Programs
Gallatin County
County Open Lands Programs
Gallatin County
• Prime agricultural land
• Large properties
• Positive social/economic impacts
• Wildlife habitat and movement corridors
• Riparian areas and wetlands
• Proposals reviewed by Open Lands Board and
County Commissioners
State Public Funding Sources
State Funding Sources
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
• Habitat Montana
Offers incentives to landowners
to conserve habitat on private
Federal Funding Sources
• Natural Resources Conservation Service
• ACEP - Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
• Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP)
• Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)
• Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
• Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
• Forest Legacy
• US Fish & Wildlife Service
• North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA)
Federal Funding Sources
Program Goal: Keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural use through
conservation easements.
Program Criteria:
• Be privately owned
• Meet one of three eligibility requirements
• Contains crop land, grassland, pasture land or forest that contributes to the
economic viability of an ag operation
Federal Funding Sources
(formerly Wetland Reserve Program)
Provides funds to restore
wetlands while protecting them
with a conservation easement.
Federal Funding Sources
Land & Water Conservation Fund
• Created in 1965
• Uses revenues from offshore oil
and gas leasing and reinvests them
in onshore conservation
Federal Funding Sources
Forest Legacy
Voluntary program of US Forest Service
Provides grants to states for the purchase
of easements and fee acquisition of
environmentally-sensitive or threatened
forest lands.
Federal Funding Sources
N. American Wetland Conservation Act
• Goal is to protect habitat for
wetlands-associated migratory
birds and other wildlife.
Mitigation Funding Sources
Mitigation Funding Sources
Montana Aquatic Resources Services (MARS)
Funds projects to offset impacts to aquatic resources
from development
Mitigation Funding Sources
Mitigation Funding Sources
Montana Aquatic Resources Services (MARS)
Bonneville Power Fish Mitigation
Case Studies
Photo: Yellowstone Ranch Preserve
Flikkema Ranch
Conservation Easement
• 636 acre mix of prime ag land & wildlife habitat
• Family-farmed for over 100 years
• Easements completed in 2013
Conservation Values
• 59% important soils
• Important wildlife habitat
• Headwaters of Camp Creek
• Scenic ridgeline – Norris Road
• 12 conservation easements within 7 miles
Easement Terms
• No divisions
• One existing primitive
cabin allowed
• One new residence
• Agricultural operations and
recreation allowed
• Bargain Sale Easement
partial purchase
partial donation
Madison River Ranch
Conservation Easement
• 200 acres of important bird & wildlife habitat
with Madison River frontage
• Protects views of Missouri Headwaters region
Landscape Position
- Near Three Forks &
Headwaters State
- National Audubon
Important Bird Area
- I-90 View shed
- Madison River
- Headwaters Trail
- Near other
Conservation Values
• National & State Priority Bird Conservation Area
• 32% prime soils on ag land
• Abundant wildlife
• Cultural area of state and national significance
• Madison River/Missouri Headwaters protection
Easement Terms
• No divisions of property
• One existing residence allowed
• One new guest/caretaker residence allowed
• Continued agricultural operations allowed
• Bargain Sale Easement
partial purchase
partial donation
Oyler Conservation Easement
• 590 acres of agricultural land, wildlife habitat and
riparian corridor
• Protects West Gallatin River
Conservation Values
Gallatin River protection
National & State Priority Bird Conservation Area
Public access on portion of property
Abundant wildlife
Scenic views from Dry Creek Road
Long-time ranching family
Easement Terms
• One division allowed
• Continued agricultural operations allowed
• No residences on easement property
• Bargain Sale Easement
partial purchase
partial donation
Thank you and questions

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