Each time the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust protects a property with a conservation easement, we are accepting the legal obligation to carry out the donor’s desires and the terms of the easement, forever. The monitoring program is designed to ensure that Ausbon Sargent fulfills its responsibility for guarding against easement violations.
Failure to enforce its easements could disqualify Ausbon Sargent from accepting tax-deductible easements and jeopardize its IRS tax-exempt status.
Ausbon Sargent carries out periodic property inspections. This procedure is called monitoring.
- We train and coordinate the activities of a volunteer core of monitors
- Keep accurate and detailed reports of our inspections
- Respond to violations with appropriate action including mediation and/or litigation
- Consult with other land trusts regarding current problems and issues in monitoring
Monitoring serves as a regular reminder that the landowner is legally bound to keep the property in the condition as defined in the conservation easement. As an easement passes down the line from the original donor (grantor) to subsequent property owners, there is a greater chance the new owners might ignore the terms of the easement.
Our board designated Stewardship Fund is set aside solely to cover the costs of monitoring, administering and stewarding Ausbon Sargent's conservation easement properties. Our board designated Enforcement Fund is for defending Ausbon Sargent's conservation easements.
At the time Ausbon Sargent accepts a conservation easement, funds or a pledge of funds adequate to meet the land trust’s associated monitoring obligations must be placed in, or made to the Stewardship and Enforcement Funds. These two separate accounts are funded by the pooled contributions from conservation easement donors. A landowner is expected to make a gift of cash, securities or other assets to the Stewardship and Enforcement Funds at the time of their easement donation. If a donation is not possible at the time of the easement, the landowner can schedule payments over a period of time. Contributions may be provided by local private or public groups such as conservation commissions or neighborhood associations, or at the Ausbon Sargent Board’s discretion, by transfer from Ausbon Sargent's operating account. An understanding of how the board designated Stewardship and Enforcement Funds obligation will be met must be established before substantive work on the easement is begun.
Contributions to Stewardship and Enforcement Funds
A donation to Ausbon Sargent's board designated Stewardship and Enforcement Funds is required based on the Trust’s best estimate of the cost of monitoring, administering, and enforcing the restrictions over time. The schedule for estimating the required donations is based on actual and anticipated costs. For further details, please contact our land protection specialist at 603-526-6555.