2023 Workshop Descriptions

For webinar links, visit the special conference page and enter the password from your registration confirmation email.

For presenter bios, click here

Resources shared during each webinar are listed after its description below.

Thursday, March 9

9:30 am 
Conference Kick Off

9:40-11:00 am 
Land Transactions: A review of the steps and resources needed to do fee and conservation easement land transactions 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust Land Protection project managers benefit from being able to “talk shop” with each other on a daily basis, but most Maine land conservation organizations are much smaller and don’t have that advantage. In this session, Misha and Dan, who do projects in the Mount Desert Island and Midcoast regions respectively, will walk through the basic steps involved in fee and conservation easement land transactions. They will draw attention to sticky points they’ve learned to watch out for and highlight resources they find helpful like the Master Project Checklist offered on the MLTN website, which can be indispensable for anyone not deeply versed in these processes.  

We hope land project practitioners at all levels will attend this webinar and share what works for them and what doesn’t. If you have specific questions you hope will be answered, feel free to send them to us ahead of time and we’ll try to work them in! 

Presenters: Misha Mytar, and Dan Hohl, Project Managers, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Resources shared during the webinar:

Wednesday, March 15

9:30-10:45 am 
IT Security for Land Trusts

Technology is constantly changing. How can you posture your organization for flexibility? How can you prepare for the unplanned? Learn about significant threats to non-profits, how you can mitigate risk, and maintain trust and privacy of donors and partners.

Presenters: Doug Ennis, One Bridge Consulting, and Molly MacGregor, IT Business Solutions & Support Analyst, Maine Coast Heritage Trust 

Thursday, March 16

9:30-10:45 am 
Media Relations: How to Build Strong Relations with the Press

Land Trusts need a multitude of ways to convey their story to audiences within, and sometimes beyond, their own communities. The media (print, digital, radio and broadcast) is key for reaching a broad demographic of audiences, and the value of earned media has enormous value for nonprofit organizations that often can’t spare the funds for advertising. But getting the media’s attention and creating good relationships with the media can be tricky for several reasons. First, because editors and reporters are deluged with demands from all corners of their community. Also, since the media has a responsibility to be objective, it’s important to respect the boundaries that media outlets must maintain and present story ideas to them in a respectful manner. Nonetheless, there are creative ways to build strong and lasting relations with your local media, and it should be a goal of any land trust to get to know the media outlets in their geographic area.  

Join Betta Stothart and Lynda Clancy for a workshop about how build strong relations with the press. If your answer to any of these questions isn’t a resounding YES, you should attend!

  • Have you developed a relationship with your local media?
  • Are you keeping them apprised of the good news at the land trust (new projects, trails, events, etc.)?
  • Do you know how to decide which stories are worth telling (if you have news)?
  • Are you prepared for a crisis?
  • Are you adept at drafting a great press release and strong headline?
  • Do you have the resources to gather visuals to tell your story?

Presenters: Lynda Clancy, Pen Bay Pilot, and Betta Stothart, Public Relations Consultant

Tuesday, March 21

9:30-10:45 am 
Ecological Beaver Management

Beavers, the largest rodent in North America, are an amazingly adapted keystone species, capable of shaping the landscape around them and living in an array of wetland habitats. Beaver can be a very powerful tool in creating a diverse and climate resilient landscape but are also a controversial issue and do create very real problems for landowners and resource managers. As land trusts focused on conservation and wildlife habitat, the damage caused by beaver to our roads can presented a sticky challenge. We want to protect our roads, but trapping, the traditional methods of dealing with unwanted beaver, presents an ethical quandary and reduces the ecological benefits of having beaver on the landscape.

Blue Hill Heritage Trust has been exploring issues of beaver management and has installed several flow devices or “beaver deceivers” in an attempt to balance our stewardship and management objectives. This presentation will discuss; the basics of beaver biology and management, the benefits and challenges that beaver create, the challenges of designing effective flow devices, and the resources available for landowners in Maine dealing with beaver.  We will also address the more abstract challenges of managing land in a way that is practical, but which also holds to the stewardship ideals of sustainable, ethical resources use. 

Presenters: Skip Lisle, Beaver Deceivers, LLC, and Sandy Walczyk, Conservation Forest Manager, Blue Hill Heritage Trust

Ecological Beaver Management slide deck PDF

Wednesday, March 22

9:30-11:00 am 
TikTok, YouTube, Instagram Oh My! Making the Most of Videos to Tell Your Stories

You already know that video is an incredibly effective medium for telling your story, but the challenge is what to do about it. When we talk about video today, we’re talking about so much more than reusing the one you filmed for last year’s fundraiser. From the explosion of video content online to the demand for virtual programming during the pandemic, every organization has needed to rethink its approach to video.


The first workshop of this two-part series is designed for anyone who tells your story – from executive directors to interns, development pros to program managers. In this highly interactive session, we’ll start with a primer on how you can think about video before exploring the ways it can be an asset throughout your organization. Learning from each other’s experiences, we’ll develop recommendations for how you can incorporate video more frequently in your storytelling. This facilitated discussion will help clarify and simplify what can often feel like an enormous project of using video.

Come to this session ready to participate! These sessions will be via Zoom Meeting rather than Zoom Webinar, so please plan to be on camera and ready to participate in breakout sessions and by sharing your experience, thoughts and ideas. 

Presenters: Brandon Hayes, Founder and Principal, and Patrick Williams, Bold Bison Communications & Consulting

Thursday, March 23

9:30-11:00 am 
Details, Deadlines, and Debuts: Unpacking the Ins and Outs of Video Production

Building on the high level learnings from the first session, this Q&A-based workshop is designed as a deep dive for those involved with the nuts and bolts of video production at their organization. Participants are encouraged to bring their technical questions about video production and strategy, as the workshop will be responsive to the needs and concerns of those in attendance. We all bring different levels of experience with video, so no question is too big or too small for this session! The team from Bold Bison are prepared to cover a wide range of topics on video, from filming techniques and equipment recommendations, to editing demos and software tips, to content strategy and key considerations when hiring contractors.

This is your chance to get personalized advice from experts. Please bring questions about your current or dream video projects!

Come to this session ready to participate! These sessions will be via Zoom Meeting rather than Zoom Webinar, so please plan to be on camera and ready to participate in breakout sessions and by sharing your experience, thoughts and ideas. 

Presenters: Brandon Hayes, Founder and Principal, and Patrick Williams, Director of Creative Services, Bold Bison Communications & Consulting

Wednesday, March 29

9:30-11:00 am 
The Solar Conundrum: Information on solar installations and examples of why, how, and when land trusts are taking action

Given that the state has endorsed an ambitious plan to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and embrace a clean energy economy, the proliferation of ground mounted solar installments is inevitable and is already happening. While many Mainers are in favor of these changes, they have concerns related to the siting of these installations and the potential impacts they may have on undeveloped open spaces and productive farmland. Land trusts are quickly finding themselves in a position of needing to understand the practicalities of solar energy infrastructure, the economics related to solar siting, and the expectations of consumers. All while balancing these demands with the need to protect valuable undeveloped properties within their communities.

This workshop will provide basic information related to the need for transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy, explain some key decision areas for solar developers, and describe how solar can be designed to help with community goals and farm viability. Examples of other land trusts who are addressing solar energy as part of their conservation efforts will be shared, and policy implications of the Infrastructure Reduction Act will be briefly covered. Finally, we’ll hear why and how Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust has taken on this challenge, how they talked about their decisions, and how it’s going.

Presenters: Judy Anderson, Community Consultants LLC, Steven Hufnagel, Executive Director, Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, Shelley Megquier, Maine Farmland Trust, and Ethan Winter, Northeast Solar Specialist, American Farmland Trust

Thursday, March 30

9:30-10:45 am 
Soundscape Ecology

For decades, land trusts have understood the importance of preserving natural landscapes. More recently that idea has grown to include preservation of dark skies and cultural resources. So it naturally follows that conservation can be an important tool in preserving our natural soundscapes as well. In this presentation, UMaine faculty member Nate Aldrich and artist and researcher Steve Norton will introduce us to the world of environmental sound in a whole new way. Hear about current and upcoming projects they are undertaking to document Maine’s soundscapes and learn what these recordings can teach us. 

Presenters: Nate Aldrich, adjunct Associate Professor, University of Maine Orono, and Steve Norton