MLTN Infoline – April 14, 2020

Federal Assistance Available

As the President and Congress consider new legislation to assist businesses, nonprofits, and families impacted by the ongoing health crisis and economic downturn, remember there are many informative webpages available to learn what has already been enacted. Bills passed in March include a handful of provisions that land trusts can access in order to maintain operations, continue to provide community benefits, and play a part in slowing down the spread of the virus. These provisions include Small Business Administration loans and grants and payroll tax credits to cover COVID-19 related sick and family leave. For more information check out these webpages:
Stay tuned for likely updates on this front,
Whit , Jeff , and Donna

Executive Order Allowing Remote Notarizations

Last week, on April 8th,  Governor Janet Mills signed an  Executive Order allowing remote notarization t o reduce in-person contact and promote physical distancing in response to COVID-19.  The Order, which took effect immediately, temporarily suspended the provisions of Maine law that require the physical presence of a notary or witness with certain exceptions. The Order will allow Maine people, especially those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions, to conduct important business that requires sworn statements or affidavits with minimal in-person interaction.
The Order also establishes parameters to conduct remote notarization services in order to safeguard the integrity of transactions and the important personal interests served by them. For example, the notary and signatory must be located physically within the State of Maine and complete the act of notarization or witnessing via two-way audio and video communication to allow for direct interaction in real time. Specific standards are built into the Order in an effort to continue access to services through remote means while still protecting the reliability of the acknowledgement.

Maine Trail Finder – New Features to Help Messaging

Maine Trail Finder (MTF), a website for searching out trail opportunities of all kinds, is seeing almost double the use they typically see at this time of year and it’s no surprise. Mainers are exploring the outdoors at unprecedented levels for this time of year due to COVID-19. MTF is doing their best to provide up-to-date information so that Mainers can access outdoor spaces safely. This is particularly important at this time of year, when trail conditions can vary widely.  MTF has also added new features so that users can access information even more easily:
  • You can now search trail status from the Find Trails page. The three options are: open, partially open (for trail systems with some trail or infrastructure closures or for trails where overcrowding has been an issue, but that are still open), and closed. You can now get a URL for a map of all closed trails in Maine or one for all partially open trails
  • You can now clearly see if a trail is closed from the specific trail page. They still have alerts that detail why the trail is closed, but added banners on the top of the pages so the messaging is hard to miss.
More website upgrades will roll out in the coming weeks.  Please continue to send trail updates for your organization! If you have new information, email  Claire  or Hope  and they will get it on the site as soon as possible.

Managing through Uncertainty – Parts 1 and 2

FREE webinar from MANP and NFF!
Thursdays, April 16th & 17th, 2020
1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Your Desk
This free webinar is offered by the Nonprofit Finance Fund.  
As the nation grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, nonprofits face tough decisions about how to sustain their organizations. Without a clear sense of how long social distancing will last and how much emergency or government stimulus funding will be available, nonprofit leaders are having to make immediate adjustments while also planning for the future amidst great economic uncertainty.  This 2-part webinar, intended for Board Members, Nonprofit Staff, and Executive Directors, will offer a framework to help leaders organize and plan for the decisions to be made in the months ahead. The course will include:
  • a discussion about the tough decisions that lie ahead;
  • practical steps for financial decision making that balance immediate needs and priorities with medium-and long-term recovery goals; 
  • tips for preparing for the aftermath of the crisis.
Register for each day separately:
April 16th
April 17th

How to Plan and Facilitate an Engaging Virtual Meeting

Cost: $35 
Almost overnight, we have been thrust into a virtual world. Words like “Zoom,” “working remotely” and “social distancing” roll off our tongues as if we’ve been saying them our whole lives. What are the critical steps required to design and deliver a virtual meeting? How do you keep your participants actively engaged and involved? What types of visuals inspire and help to anchor information?  This 75-minute training is packed with clear, practical strategies that you’ll be able to easily apply. (And it’s fun.)
Learn more and register at Wells NERR’s website.

Working with Municipal and State Leaders on Conservation

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020
2:00 – 3:30 pm
Cost:  $65 Land Trust Alliance members | $100 non-members
Conservation is a team sport. More and more, successful conservation projects require significant collaboration across business, government and non-profit sectors. Integrated social, technical and political skills have never been more important to achieve significant conservation results that are built on shared opportunities and mutual goals.
Join social entrepreneurship scholar and strategy consultant Cleveland Justis, Potrero Group, and local government and land trust leader, Councilman Josh Hastings, Lower Shore Land Trust & Wicomico County Council, as they discuss ways organizations and leaders can make decisions and engage in supportive partnerships from a thoughtful position that keeps the primary mission, business needs and constituencies in view.
  • Understand how to leverage partnerships to enhance strategy.
  • Learn a social entrepreneurial approach to identifying gaps and leveraging opportunities that meet both economic and environmental goals.
  • Pair theory with practical skill examples you can utilize for inter-sector collaboration.
  • Learn how two unique land trust-led, multi-stakeholder collaborations have significantly impacted the communities in which they reside.
Register at LTA’s website.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine

With warmer weather on its way, Lyme Disease Awareness Month is nearly here. This reminds us to slow down and practice great tick prevention when managing properties and spending time outdoors. Please do all you can to stay safe!

Community Learning for Maine

A new website (still in beta testing mode) has been started as a temporary response to COVID-19. It is a volunteer driven, grassroots effort designed to support parents and teachers while school is not in session. Rural Aspirations is working with various community organizations, businesses, and school leaders to identify areas of need and to develop a comprehensive resource to support learning from home.  
Maine land trusts are a phenomenal source of knowledge and expertise. If you or someone in your land trust has experience to share, please consider tapping into this hub for learning and networking. Keep in mind that the effort is ongoing and the website is still being built, but your input will help speed that process along and ensure a useful resource. 
Check out Community Learning in Maine. And thanks!

Job Openings in the Conservation Sector

Even at this uncertain time, new job postings continue to flow in. View the full list here .
Retail Position: Nature Store – Maine Audubon
Nature Center Assistant – Maine Audubon
Project Manager – Downeast Salmon Federation
Seasonal Administrative Assistant – Woodie Wheaton Land Trust
Land Steward: Southern & Western Maine – Maine Farmland Trust
Executive Director – North Haven Conservation Partners
Stewardship Director – York Land Trust