Land Trusts Earn Accreditation and Renewal
We don’t hear a lot about land trust accreditation these days, but there are still land trusts working quietly in the wings, earning their status as accredited land trusts or renewing their accreditation. It’s a major undertaking and worthy of celebration, so we want to recognize the Maine organizations in the latest class of newly accredited Land Trusts:
And those who successful renewed their accreditation:
The work that all accredited land trusts put in to earn this distinction builds confidence with the public that land trusts are managed to the highest standards, and in turn that benefits the public’s perception of land conservation in general.
Congratulations to these two groups and all land trusts that make the commitment to excellence. Your promise helps ensures that voluntary land conservation will continue to be available to landowners in generations to come!
Cheers and best wishes,
Whit, Jeff, and Donna
News from Augusta
Over the next couple months, state legislative committees will be tackling most of the two thousand or so bills expected to surface in Augusta during 2023. Nearly a thousand bills have been printed as of early March. On our website, we’ve posted an update on a few bills related to Maine land trusts. They include:
Sales Tax Exemption – LD 68 would extend the current sales tax exemption to all nonprofit organizations. Later this year, the Taxation Committee will also consider LD 695, which would only expand sales tax exemption for land trusts.
Subdivision Review – LD 596, An Act to Exempt Certain Conservation Lots from Municipal Subdivision Review, would amend municipal subdivision law, which is currently triggered when there are at least three divisions of a tract of land in a five-year period. If enacted, a division of land done to accomplish permanent conservation objectives as defined in the bill, would no longer count towards the three in five-year limit.
Working Waterfront Covenants – LD 574 would allow certain nonprofit corporations or charitable trusts that are authorized to hold conservation easements, such as land trusts, to be allowed to hold working waterfront covenants.
If you have questions or would like to speak to someone about issues related to the current legislative session, contact MCHT’s Public Policy Manager Jeff Romano.
2023 Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Worcester Technical High School
Featuring 25 sessions, a keynote panel on the synergies between housing and conservation interests, and eight field trips taking place across the state, the Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference offers something for the beginner through to the advanced practitioner.
2023 Annual Maine Invasive Species Network Meeting
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Wells Conference Center, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Price: Free! The registration fee has been waived thanks to sponsors!
Seating is limited. Register early. Registration deadline is March 6.
Invasive species threaten our agriculture, landscapes, natural resources, and even our health. The annual Maine Invasive Species Network (MISN) meeting is the one time each year that Maine’s invasive species professionals come together for learning and networking. Hear for the latest updates and discussion on the invasive pests threatening Maine.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Visit the MISN meeting home page for all the details. Register here.
Winter Outdoor Skills Workshop
This Saturday, March 4, 2023
Mere Point, Brunswick
Experience led by Alice Bean Andrenyak
During this one day outside workshop, you’ll be wearing snowshoes while improving your skills with: compasses (taking and following bearings), fire building, cooking using various techniques, shelter building, and how to search for a separated group member and handling some possible first aid issues. Designed for those with some knowledge who will be leading family members or small groups in the colder weather outdoors, or preparing to become a Registered Maine Guide.
Beyond Statements: Monthly Equity and Inclusion Calls Starting Up Again
First Wednesday of the month, starting March 7th
Hosted by Maine Environmental Education Association
The Beyond Statements Calls are hosted for individuals and organizations to practice and learn new ways of being in relationship with each other and their organizations. This work is focused on creating new norms in the pursuit of thriving and connected communities and cultures. Beyond Statements Calls are more than DEIJ “work” and instead take a more holistic approach to systems change.
This year’s calls will feature some new topics like building your own Ways of Being, Social Identity Mapping, Consensus Processes, and more, as well as revisiting some past topics to expand and learn more.
MEEA will also be hosting a speaker series this year with special guests who will share about topics related to culture building, equity, shared leadership, and more. Stay tuned for more details on these speakers!
Visit MEEA’s website for more info and registration link.
Appraisal Basics for Land Trusts
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Cost: $70 for Land Trust Alliance members, $100 for nonmembers
When a land trust purchases land in fee or a conservation easement, an appraisal will almost always be required if you are to fund or substantiate the value of the acquisition, so it is important for land trust personnel to understand the appraisal process. Drawing from over 20 years of experience valuing conservation lands, appraiser Victoria Adams (Terra Valuations) will discuss several of the common and more complicated issues that may arise in the appraisal and/or appraisal review and how the land trust can play an effective role in minimizing appraisal time and costs and facilitating a more successful outcome.
Here’s a look at what will be covered:
Visit LTA’s website for more information and to register.
Incorporating the Indigenous Voice into Forest Use Planning
Friday, March 17, 2023
10:30am with talk beginning at 11am
In person at Fields Pond Aububon Center, Holden or via zoom
Lunch following the presentation will be provided for those in attendance
The Maine Woods Forever March Roundtable will be a hybrid format, with options to attend either in person or via Zoom.
Join Penobscot Nation Forester Ben Stevens and Appalachian Mountain Club’s Steve Tatko as they share their story of how the indigenous voice on land management is being incorporated into their land and forest management planning.
Please register here whether you want to join in person or via Zoom. You will be contacted closer to the event to say if you are joining via zoom or in person.
Orienting New Landowners to Their Easements
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Cost: $70 for Land Trust Alliance members, $100 for nonmembers
The day will inevitably come when one of your properties under easement changes hands – whether that’s to a child, grandchild or a non-family member. Many violations have traditionally been caused by successor landowners, so it’s in everyone’s best interest that a land trust take the time to build a relationship and layout the terms of the easement. But how to do that efficiently and effectively?
Join stewardship experts Sarah O’Rear, The Land Trust for Tennessee, and Lena Pollastro, Land Trust of Napa County, as they discuss how to engage with new landowners and ensure they understand their easements. As a bonus, Lena will share her land trust’s new booklet for successor landowners, and Sarah will share her land trust’s stewardship packet that goes out to all new landowners.
Visit LTA’s website for more details and to register.
Getting the Most Out of Your Board Retreats
Friday, March 31, 2023
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Cost: $45 for MANP members*, $65 for Nonmembers
Discounts for teams! $25 off each additional registration from the same organization. Plus some scholarships are available!
Board retreats are a powerful tool in effective board development and organizational management. They can provide space for developing a compelling vision, establishing shared goals and expectations, and engaging board members. However, too often, they lack key elements leading to missed opportunities and frustration. Join Laurel McCombs from The Osborne Group to make sure your next board retreat is not only productive and enjoyable, but also a strategic part of achieving your organization’s goals.
This webinar is designed for executive directors, staff who work with boards, and board members.
Visit MANP’s website for more information and to register.
*Most MLTN members are MANP members. Contact Donna to check on your MLTN membership status.
Jobs in the Conservation Sector
Many great positions are currently available at Maine conservation organizations! View the full list on our website. Latest additions here.
Executive Director – Megunticook Watershed Association
Lake Warden – Megunticook Watershed Association
Nature Day Camp Leaders and Assistant Leaders – Harpswell Heritage Land Trust
Part-Time Visitor Services and Retail Associate – Maine Audubon
Farmers’ Market Parking Coordinator – Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust
Conservation Programs Manager – Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed
Land Conservation Director – 7 Lakes Alliance
Stewardship Manager – Georges River Land Trust
America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC) Request for Proposals
Pre-proposals Due: Thursday, April 20, 2023 by 11:59pm
Pre-proposal Webinar: Thursday, March 9, 2-4pm – register here
The Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program is pleased to join the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in announcing the 2023 America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC) Request for Proposals (RFP). Hosted by NFWF, the ATBC is a public-private grant program designed to support locally led, voluntary ecosystem restoration projects.
The 2023 ATBC RFP supports applicants with developing landscape-level proposals that conserve fish and wildlife, enhance carbon sequestration and storage, benefit underserved communities, and protect ecosystems through nature-based solutions. In its second year, the ATBC will allocate $116 million to projects that conserve, connect, and restore critical lands, waters, and wildlife.
The ATBC funding will be available through five categories. Projects that meet the goals and requirements of more than one category may be funded by multiple ATBC funding partners.
Read the full ATBC 2023 Request for Proposals here.
You can also join NFWF’s ATBC pre-proposal webinar on Thursday, March 9, from 2:00 – 4:00pm. Register for the webinar here.