Conservation Easement Transaction Process
1. Landowner submits completed Project Application
to CRT.2. Conservation Committee reviews Project
Applications monthly.Projects are
CRT's criteria and conservation plan.
approved by Conservation Committee are recommended to CRT Board on several
priority (Tier) levels (go to Step 3).
that meet most of CRT's criteria but do not qualify as a priority tier are put
on hold for further evaluation, change in funding environment, or to seek
partnership with another land trust.
that do not meet CRT's criteria – staff notifies landowner(s).
information needed – staff follows up with landowner(s) and project is reviewed
at future Conservation Committee meeting.
3. Board reviews applications approved by the
projects – board will select based on likelihood of funding(go to Step 4).Staff requests $500 contribution and
exclusive agreement.Landowner advised
to obtain own legal/financial counsel.
projects – board will prioritize projects and contact potential partner(s).
Staff requests $500 contribution and exclusive agreement.Landowner advised to obtain own
projects – board will approve pending meeting with landowner if application
filed by developer.Staff requests $5000
from developer. Landowner advised to obtain own legal/financial counsel.
4. CRT staff and/or director make an on-site visit
to the property.During this visit, CRT
will also meet with all identified owners of the property and their family
members to ensure that all are committed to the project.The owner(s) will select a contact person to
work with CRT.
5. CRT and/or landowner obtain preliminary title
report, preliminary appraisal, information on mineral rights and any other
6. CRT identifies potential funding sources.If funding not apparent, project is held
pending identification of funding.
7. CRT enters into Exclusive Agreement with the
landowner to purchase the easement.On
partnership projects, CRT also enters into a Memorandum of Understanding with
the project partner(s).
8. Once preliminary funding identified and
conditionally obtained, CRT, landowner, and potential funders review CRT form
conservation easement and negotiate any changes necessary to meet landowner's
intent and funding requirements. CRT will have easement reviewed by
attorney.Following agreement on draft,
the document will be provided to the appraiser for completion of final
9. CRT and landowner enter into option agreement to
acquire the conservation easement pending final approval of the funding, and a
contribution agreement for payment of the monitoring endowment, cost recovery
and landowner contribution.
10. CRT and/or landowner obtain hazardous materials
phase 1 assessment.If landowner does
not own surface mineral rights, a geologist's report is also obtained.
11. Preliminary title report is updated and
reviewed.All monetary liens must be
released or subordinated to the conservation easement prior to closing the
12. CRT finalizes fundraising.Acquisition funds obtained.
13. CRT obtains present conditions report, which is
prepared in cooperation with landowner.CRT and landowner approve report.
14. Project is presented to CRT board for final
approval, and authority for executive director or board chair to sign
conservation easement and other closing documents
15. Easement is purchased (or donated) and
recorded.Monitoring endowment, cost
recovery and landowner contribution are paid to CRT.
16. Project dedication and publicity.
17. Annual monitoring commences the year following
the recording of the easement.If
required, sign is ordered and posted.
Glossary of Terms
A voluntary agreement between the landowner and the
California Rangeland Trust that is recorded as a permanent agreement and
restriction on the land.
An agreement between the landowner and CRT that
establishes CRT as the exclusive party to seek a conservation easement on the
Private and public entities with funds available for the
purchase of a conservation easement.
A legal agreement between CRT and another conservation
organization describing how they will work together with a landowner to
obtain a conservation easement.
Periodic site visits to assure compliance with a
Funds placed into CRT's endowment account to reimburse
CRT's costs of monitoring in perpetuity.
A qualified conservation organization capable of
negotiating a conservation easement, performing necessary due diligence and
obtaining funding for easement acquisition.
Present Conditions Report
A document that describes the natural aspects and
improvements of a ranch, including any unique or degraded aspects of the
property.This is also known as the
Baseline Conditions Report.
A fill-in-the-blank form providing preliminary information
to CRT on a particular property.