Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Conservation Easement Stewardship Featured in Forest Publication

     The important role of conservation easement monitoring and stewardship was the focus of a recent article in the The Forest Steward’s Journal, a publication produced by the Forest Stewardship Foundation. The article, written by MALT’s Glenn Marx, highlights the importance of conservation easement monitoring – particularly forested lands held under easement – from the perspective of a land steward, a landowner and two different land trusts.

     Andrea “Andy” Darling, a Montana Land Reliance steward, a natural resources consultant, and a Forest Stewardship Foundation board member, explains in the article how she and the MLR approach monitoring and working with landowners on conservation easement monitoring and compliance, and how active forest management is consistent with forest health objectives within the easement.

     Ed Levert, a longtime forest leader in Montana and president of the Forest Stewardship Foundation, also discusses his forest property in northwest Montana. Levert says that he effectively and successfully manages his forest under a conservation easement – that he helped write – held by The Vital Ground Foundation.

     “The relationship between me and Vital Ground is fully cooperative and has been from the very beginning,” Levert says in the article. “There’s been education for both of us through the process, and they’ve been receptive of my ideas and management goals.”

     “Ed helped Vital Ground design language for our easement templates that recognizes and accommodates the needs of forest landowners and forest management,” Ryan Lutey of Vital Ground says in the article. “Both Ed and Bud Moore (legendary forest manager and author of “The Lochsa Story – Land Ethics in the Bitterroot Mountains”) helped shape the organization’s philosophy on active forest management as a transient disruption that, when done correctly, ultimately improves forest health and benefits many of the conservation values our easements are designed to protect.”