CORRECTION: while word on the streets Friday, January 13 included that WPT would be present in the Riggins meeting below, it has been confirmed now that there was no WPT representation at the meeting. Rather, the intent of the meeting was purported to be a brainstorming session on recreational activities that should be noted for deed restriction in lands identified as Alternative F in the Lochsa Land Exchange Supplement DEIS.
Word on the streets for FRIDAY THE 13th of January, 2012:
Vicky Lowe of Riggins Idaho has been invited to a meeting today at 1pm at her office
Community citizens met with real estate agent Vicky Lowe at her Riggins office on behalf of Idaho County Commissioners request to work out details concerning Lochsa Land Exchange deed restrictions – listing recreational activities that would apply to whatever property might end up in the hands of Western Pacific Timber if parcels identified as Alternative F were chosen in the Lochsa Land Exchange.
This is counter to our mission of which Stop the Swap – Not One Acre is focused.
We the people will not contribute to any effort that accepts the premise that this Lochsa Land Exchange is inevitable.
POINTS PRESENTED TO Idaho County COMMISSIONERS BY THE TASK FORCE
The Land Trust Standards and Practices, developed by the Land Trust Alliance, outline the basic elements that the Alliance believes are essential for the responsible operation of a land trust - a land trust that operates legally, ethically, and in the public interest and that conducts a sound program of land transactions and stewardship.
- It takes thought, planning, money, and time to develop an effective stewardship program. Carrying out easement stewardship activities in perpetuity is a significant financial commitment.
- A conservation easement, no matter how expertly crafted, cannot alone protect important land or historic resources - only the easement holder’s excellent stewardship can. Acquiring an easement is just the beginning of the protection effort. Your ongoing commitment to monitor, defend, and enforce the easement is what ensures protection in perpetuity.
- Good working partnerships are vital to help protect the property.
- You must have the funds to monitor and enforce the easement, in court if necessary.
- Only a willingness to act against violations, including legal action if necessary, can assure that resources are protected – or restored when damaged.
- Stewardship is an ethical and legal responsibility.
- Monitoring and record keeping requires time and money. Dealing with violations – and especially going to court – requires even greater resources.
- Consider whether size, distance, or remoteness of the property will make monitoring impractical.
- Read the conservation easement as if you were the lawyer representing the next landowner, who is hostile to the easement, and who instructs the lawyer, “Read this and tell me what I can get away with.”
- One public official with many years of experience warns: To enforce an easement, ambiguity must be eliminated to the maximum extent possible. I’ve had 20 years experience with easements, and I am firmly convinced that the human animal is never more creative than when it is to his economic advantage to try to get around the terms of an easement.
- Draft with the hostile property owner in mind.
- Most easement violations are caused not by the original grantor, but by subsequent owners. These industrial private lands or commercial timber properties change hands on a fairly regular basis.
- Going to court is costly in time and money and a loss could set an unfavorable precedent that might affect easements in general. Get a careful analysis by an experienced trial lawyer. Because each case may have the potential to set precedence for future resolution of easement issues-perhaps for every easement, nationwide.
- Just as stewardship funds are the most difficult for private groups to fundraise for, they are among the least popular items in government budgets, and among the quickest to be cut in lean times.
· Tim Blixeth, it seems foolhardy to enter into any conservation easement where he is involved! He has the funds to challenge and take any conservation easement to court and keep it there – possibly bleeding the easement holder to death with legal expenses