Stewardship

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Stewardship

Conservation Easements are Forever

robe-janASA is honored to be entrusted with a landowner’s conservation vision for their land. However, conservation easements are forever, so with such honor comes great responsibility. As an easement holder, ASA is required to ensure that any activity on a protected property is consistent with the terms of the conservation easement. One way we help fulfill our stewardship obligation is to conduct annual site visits (also known as monitoring visits) on every conserved property. Our staff is well trained to conduct these visits, which usually take place between the spring and fall. These visits are important to us in that they help foster landowner relationships by providing an opportunity to meet with the landowner one on one. During these annual visits we are able to answer questions the landowners may have about the easement and discuss any future plans they may have for the property. Good landowner relationships and clear communication are key elements in ASA’s approach to meet our ongoing stewardship responsibilities and to ensure that the agricultural and forestry uses of the property are protected.

In addition to annual visits, ASA also serves as an on-going resource to our easement landowners. We help answer questions, work with them through any notice or approval process that may be required in the easement for certain activities, and assist them with their land management questions. If we do not have the expertise to address their concerns, we will help find someone who does. We view easement landowners as our partners in conservation and we work together with them to fulfill our mission of securing the land resources necessary to ensure a vibrant farming community for generations to come.

September-2008-006To help cover some of our ongoing easement stewardship costs, ASA has a dedicated fund for easement stewardship and defense. Every easement we accept must entail some money for our fund so we can demonstrate that we have the resources necessary to monitor, defend and, if necessary, enforce the easement in perpetuity. The funding is provided through donations made by those who protect their land or as a one-time fee paid by the State if the property is involved in the state farmland protection program. In addition, some foundations and individuals have made gifts to the easement fund because they recognize the importance of our long-term stewardship obligation and understand the cost of running a stewardship program. If you are interested in making a donation to ASA’s stewardship fund, please call our office at 518-692-7285, or click here.


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