Ensuring Conservation Permanence in Maine and Massachusetts

Sun rising over mountains with forest of trees in front.
Event Date
October 4, 2022 – November 1, 2022
Land Trust Alliance
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About This Event

It’s all about being prepared for “what if?”

The Land Trust Alliance, Maine Land Trust Network and Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition are collaborating to help you ensure the permanence of your land trust and its conserved lands!

This new program is designed to help land trusts ensure the permanency of their work by understanding and identifying risks and assessing current risk management strategies through a series of online training sessions and consultant support.

Risk often carries a negative connotation — we want to avoid risk in situations that could lead to a bad outcome — but risk can also be thought of in terms of opportunity as well. It isn’t bad or good — it is about situations where the outcome is unknown, and levels of risk can correlate with degrees of predictability.

We’ll talk about risks you may want to consider, like the risk of:

  • A visitor getting hurt on a trail or a volunteer injuring themselves with a chainsaw

  • Insufficient funding or lack of board member involvement to sustain the organization

  • A conservation easement violation or trespass on a fee property

  • Conservation values changing due to climate change, invasive species, or development

  • Reputational decline due to conservation easement incentive abuse or poor land management

  • Exploring a collaboration with an aligned group

  • Hiring a staff person or finding an office space

Register now for the five-part virtual training!

The program will begin with five training sessions – open to any interested land trust operating in Maine or Massachusetts – running on Tuesdays beginning October 4, all from 4-5:15 p.m. Eastern. Registration for the training will open soon.

Topics covered are as follows:

October 4 | Ensuring permanence — exploring risk

  • What is risk?

  • Risk management as a discipline to protect your land trust’s assets

  • Tools that are available to help you assess and balance risk

October 11 | Governance and Finance

  • Governance and finance related risks to nonprofit organizations that are committed to protecting land in perpetuity

  • Considerations of your board, employees and volunteers

  • Reputation

  • Budgetary needs

October 18 | Land Transactions

  • Risks related to project selection, transactions, recording and recordkeeping.

  • Ensuring sound transactions, legal review, title work, budgets, environmental review and more.

Oct. 25 | Communications, Programs, and Stewardship

  • Programming, volunteers and communications

  • Stewardship

  • Monitoring, baseline documentation, management plans and dealing with possible problems

Nov. 1 | Introduction to Risk Assessment

  • How to form an assessment team

  • Tools and resources available to help your organization assess risk and formulate a plan to address risks

Cost to participate in the virtual training series

Your organization’s registration includes up to five staff or board members from the same organization — and includes participation in all five sessions. Following registration, please send us the names and email addresses for all your organization’s participants.

  • $50 per Alliance-member organization

  • $75 per nonmember organization

If you are eager to learn more about risk management but unable to afford the registration cost, please let us know, we have a limited number of scholarships available.

Additional information

The virtual learning sessions have been designed to optimize learning in real time and we encourage the participation of multiple people from your organization. When registering for your organization, please commit to having at least one person from your land trust attend each of the scheduled sessions.

We will be recording the sessions and will provide the recordings to registered participants following the sessions.

Presenter information

The virtual training series will be led by Connie Manes and Sarah Naperala. Connie is an attorney and nationally recognized consultant specializing in organizational assessment, capacity building and land trust accreditation. Sarah has extensive experience in nonprofit culture and best practices, policy and procedures development and evaluation. She spends much of her time as a consultant guiding and leading land trusts who are seeking Accreditation status from the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission.


The Ensuring Conservation Permanence virtual training sessions will be held via Zoom. Registration is required and will provide you with access to all five sessions. Registration will close on Sept. 27.

Consultant-led organizational risk assessment

Following the training sessions, land trusts who have attended the training sessions will have the opportunity to apply for subsidized one-on-one consultation support to perform an organizational risk assessment.

  • Your assessment team will meet with the consultant to conduct the assessment.

  • Your land trust’s assessment will be held in confidence by the contractor, who will only provide the Alliance with aggregated findings for the purposes of determining future programming needs.

  • The consultant will compile recommendations and a work plan that prioritizes short- and long-term activities.

  • Following the assessment, your land trust assessment team will meet with the consultant for up to two hours to discuss implementation planning.

  • Assessments will occur virtually February – June 2023.

Apply now for consultant-led training

Cost to participate in a consultant-led risk assessment, if your land trust is selected:

  • $300 per Alliance-member organization

  • $500 per nonmember organization

  • If you are eager to have your organization’s risk assessed but unable to afford the registration cost, please let us know.

To apply for a consultant-led organizational risk assessment:

  • Must be a land trust that operates in Maine or Massachusetts and participated in the five-part virtual training series.