Class Assignments and Agenda for Week 2, 2008 Aug 29

Class meets from 9:10 - 11:55A in 3214 Jordan Hall on the NCSU Campus. You are free to bring food and drink to this classroom.

The major objectives for this session are to ...
By the end of this session you should be able to ...
  • describe fee-simple ownership and easements as tools for land protection, and compare and contrast them
  • articulate the basics of the FOS framework - 5 steps
  • apply the conceptualization process

Things to do before our meeting

Item 1: Reading and thinking, due Thurs 28 Aug 13.00.

  • Part A: Readings
    • Salafsky, N., R. Marguluis, K.H. Redford, J.G. Robinson. 2002. Improving the practice of conservation: A conceptual framework and research agenda for conservation science. Conservation Biology 16(6): 1469-1479. ( Readings filename Salafsky-etal2002_ImprovingConservationPractice.pdf )
    • Tear, TH., P. Kareiva, PL Angermeier, P Comer, B Czech, R Kautz, L Landon, D Mehlman, K Murphy, M Rucklehaus, JM Scott, & G Wilhere. 2005. How much is enough? The recurrent problem of settling on measurable objectives in conservation. BioScience 55(10): 835-849. ( Readings filename Tear-etal2005_HowMuchIsEnough.pdf )
    • Conservation Measures Partners. 2007. Open Standards for Conservation, Version 2.0, Oct 2007. URL= (Also available in class readings as file ConservationMeasuresPartnership2007_OpenStandardsForConservation.pdf ) ... Read through page 12, and skim rest of document
    • Review TLC Strategic Directions (readings file TLC2007_StrategicDirections.pdf)
    • Review report from TLC Conservation Strategies Committee ( readings file TLC2008_ConservationStrategies.pdf )

  • Part B: Go back to your Day 1 exercise response. Attempt the process of conceptualizing your proposed property. Try to put it in the diagrammatic form used in the Open Standards document (Figures 3 & 4). Scan your diagram and email it to Hess. If you don't have access to a scanner, snap a photo and email that, or fax it to my attention, or bring it by my office and I will scan it.

  • NOTE: Diagrams received have been uploaded to readings as file

Item 2: Review grading criteria on syllabus and be prepared with any changes you'd like to discuss.

Agenda for class session

9.10 Preliminaries
- Note taker
- Time keeper

9.15 Best Places to Live Committee - status report and further activities

9.30 Conservation Tools: Fee-Simple Purchase and Conservation Easements
- Brice and Masten will fill us in on some of the methods TLC and other land trusts use to protect land.
- Pros and cons of each method to be discussed
- More detailed discussions of each will occur through examples later in today's class and the semester
- Handouts

10.00 Open Standards Model
- Walk through the Open Standard model's five steps - what are they and how do they link together?
- This is intended as an overview, with all of us to develop a more detailed understanding as we walk through an example and work on other properties.

10.20 Pseudo-Break
- During this time, we'll discuss any issues with the grading scheme

10.30 Temple Flat Rock as an example(60 min)
- Thinking about TLCs mission, values, goals, how might we conceptualize (sensu Open Standards) a TLC property?
- Brice / Masten to give some background information on the property, with a focus on conservation goals and objectives, and some discussion of the tools used to conserve the site.
- Work as a group to try and develop some conceptual constructs for the site, again focusing on the conceptualization step of the Open Standards approach. We'll also examine the context of and threats to the property and conservation goals.
- Handouts
  • article about site restoration - file 2005 07 fire restoration.pdf in in readings
  • undated news release announcing donation - file news release donation TFR 32 acres.pdf in in readings

11.30 Next Steps (Hess, 25 min)

- The assignment for the next class will be built around looking at some TLC documents, including the recently-approved Conservation Strategies Committee recommendations and detailed information about the Temple Flat Rock site, to conceptualize (sensu Open Standards) TLC's Temple Flat Rock site.
- Preparation work for next week's class , which is a visit to the site.

11.55 Adjourn



Introduced Jessie Allen, intern at Triangle Land Conservancy, and Emily Weidner, Master’s student at Duke, to the class.

Julia, Steve, Louise, and Kathryn summarized their findings when researching media reports about best places to live – categorization scheme and selection criteria for each news source.
• Possible indicator is active outdoor culture.

• Jeff reminded us that TLC is interested in the rural-urban-open space interface. The mission of TLC includes a focus on maintaining the Triangle region as a “healthy and vibrant community”. Hence, Jeff thinks that best places to live reporting offers TLC an intriguing way to define and measure the ways in which green spaces contribute to the Triangle region’s vibrant, economic well-being.
o How is access to outdoor activities incorporated into the community mindset?

• Kate wants to know if there are there any cities that highlight the ecological qualities/benefits of open space used for recreational activities.

• For now, the class agreed to table its discussion about the role reporting on best places to live plays in how we measure conservation success on TLC lands.

Jeff gave a presentation on the types of conservation tools TLC commonly uses. He also circulated several handouts.
• TLC has 12-13 staffers.

• TLC is comprised of multiple committees, which are volunteer driven. The land trust recently disbanded the Stewardship and Land Protection committees.
o Role of committees is to advise TLC. Committee members are diverse in terms of their professional experience and locality of residence; such diversity aids TLC decision-making regarding which properties to protect.

• TLC can acquire property via a purchase, bargain sale, or donation arrangement.
o Purchase = TLC gains all rights to the property by paying the full cost of land’s value.
o Bargain sale = TLC pays only a portion of the property’s value; landowner donates the rest of the money (gets to take advantage of state and federal tax incentives). TLC acquires fee-simple ownership (i.e., all rights associated with the land).
o Donation = TLC receives property or partial rights to the property. Landowner is eligible for 100% deduction of the property’s value (plus a state tax credit). TLC uses its land protection prioritization scheme to determine whether it will accept a donation offer.

• Conservation easement = Goal is to have TLC acquire partial ownership in lands of high conservation value. TLC acquires its portion of landownership via a purchase of donation arrangement. TLC places permanent legal restrictions on how the landowner (and all future owners) can use the land.
o Envelope = a specific area within the easement that has a specific set of acceptable land uses and land use restrictions.
o Possible to amend an easement but the amendment cannot weaken the original easement; most protect the spirit of the easement. For instance, expansion of development opportunities would not be permissible whereas relocation of an originally agreed upon development project is okay (as long as the new site doesn’t hinder conservation goals under the easement).
o It is possible for a descendant of a landowner to legally challenge the easement; hence easements are a liability risk. TLC therefore maintains a legal endowment in case such a challenge arises in the future. TLC also purchases title insurance for each easement.

• Your conservation goal determines whether you use a fee-simple ownership tool (e.g., protect land from development) or conservation easement tool (e.g., protect viewshed).

George summarized how Louise and he discovered the Conservation Measures Partnership. Focus of this class may be limited to the first 2 steps (and possibly the third step) in CMP’s Open Standards document. Next week the class will visit Temple Flat Rocks (TLC’s first easement), after which we will develop a conceptual model (based on CMP’s Open Standards) of the threats that must be mitigated to achieve TLC’s conservation goals for Temple Flat Rocks. During the rest of the term, the class will work in separate groups to repeat this process for additional TLC properties.

Jeff explained what he knew about Temple Flat Rocks (see Readings section for all the info). Class tried to start building a conceptual model for the property.
• First we tried to develop the conservation targets: Endemic plants, prairie habitat, and grassland songbirds.

• Then we shifted our focus to developing a vision statement for without a vision statement, how do we know what our conservation goals and targets should be?
o For now, our working vision statement is in two parts, for the two different sections of the site: “(1) Relatively undisturbed granitic outcrop habitat with a mosaic of successional stages. (2) Example of Piedmont prairie habitat.”

- Photo of our attempt to define vision for Temple Flat Rock: TempleFlatRockVision.2008.08.29.jpg


- Read all materials about Temple Flat Rock (see file TempleFlatRock.pdf in readings) and develop a list of questions that we'd like answered about Temple Flat Rock, or additional material we need to collect about the site to put us in a better position to develop a conservation measurements model for the easement site. We need to post these questions on the Temple Flat Rock page by noon Wed 3 Sep so they can be transmitted to TLC.

- Work in small teams to think about your vision for the desired state of Temple Flat Rock. See details on the assignments for our 5 Sep meeting