Our work doesn’t end when a conservation easement is completed. For every easement we hold, we are making a commitment to steward these easements in perpetuity.
And perpetuity is a long time!
As a land trust, we are required each year to monitor every conservation easement we hold to ensure that the terms of the easement are being protected where it counts – on the ground. New Mexico is a big state and we also hold easements in southeast Arizona – that’s a lot of ground to cover every year!
Monitoring visits, however, give us an opportunity to get out on the land each year and to enhance our relationships with the landowners who have entrusted us with their legacy and their vision for future generations. Monitoring visits are also a chance for landowners to address any questions or discuss any reserved rights they intend to exercise in the upcoming year.
We have a growing stewardship fund in case we need to legally defend an easement, and so far, NMLC has had no easement violations. We work carefully from the beginning in developing the conservation easements with the landowners so that we minimize the chance of problems down the road.