Steps to Acquiring Land for a Land Trust Property
Land Trusts of every type usually do two things, they buy land and preserve it (this is called an Acquisition) and they monitor a conservation easement. Whether or not it’s one of these two things both must go through a series of documents to establish a property in the Land Trusts name. First, someone from the Land Trust does a site inspection and site inspection form. This information derived from the property is then present to the board members for approval. Once the board has approved, they then analyze if the property in question will benefit the public and fits the Land Trusts mission. This analysis is written in a project selection criteria document. Once they've decided that the property is suitable for them they appraise it. If any mineral sightings or environmental issues of large caliber are found this is where an Environmental Impact Statement might have to be written. If there are no major environmental impacts to this land purchase then a Baseline Documentation Report can be written.
A Baseline Documentation Report includes the ins and outs of the property. Things like location, summary of the property’s conservation values, the physical characteristics of the property (geology, soil, hydrology, vegetation), current and historic land management practices, habitats that the land provides, agriculture resource, public benefit, and maps of all types. When this is completed, the Land Trust purchases the land or monitors the conservation easement from this point on.