Model Conservation Easement Training Series Session 2: Conservation Easement Amendments: Yes? No? Maybe?

Friday, August 8, 2014: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Meeting Room - Upper Level
Washington, CT  06793

Conservation easements are intended to protect land in perpetuity. But sometimes conditions change or mistakes were made in drafting. Crafting an amendment can be a good way to strengthen an easement, clarify provisions or improve enforceability. Yet amendments involve risk, and some amendments are riskier than others. It's important to understand how to weigh the costs and benefits before your land trust and landowner decide whether an easement amendment is appropriate or necessary to meet conservation goals, and whether other options such as discretionary approval, licenses, interpretation letters, and discretionary waiver might be appropriate.

In this second workshop of our CLCC Model CE Training Series, using relevant sections of the Model Conservation Easement as our guide, we will explore the challenging, and at times controversial, issues land trusts face when deciding on easement amendments.

Please join us to discuss evolving practices, legal principles and risk management regarding easement amendments, including:

  • When should one amend a conservation easement?
  • What changes are appropriate? What changes are not? What factors should one consider?
  • What guidance does Land Trust Standards and Practices offer?
  • How does state law affect amendment decisions?
  • What is the IRS position on amendments?
  • What should you include in your land trust's amendment policy?
  • Are you amending your easements for the right reasons? And saying no to amendments for the right reasons?
  • Are their other options to achieve the same goals?
  • How do you analyze and manage potential risks when amending an easement ...or when choosing not to amend?

Bring your questions and war stories! This workshop is designed to engage participants in what is certain to be an interesting discussion about if and when easements might be amended.

About the CLCC Model Conservation Easement Project

The goal of the CLCC Model CE Project is to strengthen the quality and viability of conserved lands in Connecticut by: (1) creating a statewide model conservation easement template for use by the land conservation community; and (2) improving the knowledge, skills and abilities of the drafters and users of conservation easements through a comprehensive training program.

CLCC's Model CE Working Group is comprised of attorneys and other conservation practitioners from around the state who got together to research and draft a conservation easement template, with a goal of simplifying language as much as reasonably possible and permitting adaptation to a broad array of situations.

CLCC's Model CE Project was made possible through the generosity of
the Geoffrey C. Highes Foundation

CLCC Members: Free
Non-CLCC Members: $25
Lunch will be provided.

Experience Level:
Intermediate/Advanced (but all levels are welcome)

Attorney Linda Francois, Connie Manes and other members of the CLCC Model CE Working Group