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Our Easement Acquisition Process

California Open Lands has found its niche within the North State conservation community by specializing in acquiring easements which have been set aside through the regulatory process. Potential acquisitions are considered by the Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis for their feasibility, resource value and consistency with our Mission.

Evaluation of easements for acquisition involves a number of steps. Initially, a start-up proposal and contract secures funding from the Landowner for our costs to evaluate an easement. These costs include the creation of a conservation deed and agreement, development of a funding mechanism, evaluation and coordination of regulatory documents, legal review and the creation of a baseline report.

Once the start-up proposal is executed and the supporting documentation has been received, a site inspection will occur to confirm the conservation values, assess the property boundaries and adjacent land uses, and reveal potential liabilities.  We also investigate title to uncover any encumbrances.

At this point, the Executive Director compiles a Project Summary to present to the Board of Directors for approval. This document includes an estimate of the management endowment using the Property Analysis Record (PAR) developed by the Center for Natural Lands Management calculated to estimate the annual administrative and management costs for the easement in perpetuity.  After the Board’s approval, the preparation of the conservation easement and management endowment proposal is prepared for the landowner’s review and approval prior to recording.