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Property Listing Terms

Environmental Assets

Environmental Assets (a brief description of environmental features found on or near the property, such as):

  1. Mature forest
  2. Hardwood forest
  3. Perennial stream
  4. Wetland
  5. Fish
  6. Animals
  7. Adjacent to local, state, or federal forest, park, or wildlife area
  8. Adjacent to local wildlife corridor
  9. Historic structures
  10. “Green” structures
  11. No special attributes but is specially managed in some way

Bioassessment

The Conserv bioassessment is an environmental assets description and screening tool designed for American Conservation Brokers. Instructions on asset description and use of the bioassessment protocol is provided in Module 11 of the American Conservation Broker curriculum.

Summary information is provided below:

Bioassessment Rating Table- Circle one of the boxes for each of the four criteria (Forest Cover Acres, Forest Cover %, Dominant Forest Type, and Stream Frontage).

Property Name:

Property Location:

Tax Parcel Number:

Forest Cover (Acres)

Less than 10

Greater than 10, less than 50

Greater than 50

0

1

2

Forest Cover (%)

Less than 50

Greater than 50, less than 75

Greater than 75

0

1

2

Dominant Forest Type

Pine

Pine and Hardwood

Hardwood

0

1

2

Stream Frontage (linear feet)

Less than 1000 ft.

Greater than 1000, less than 10,000

Greater than 10,000

0

1

2

Example:

Property A has a Forest Cover Acres of greater than 50 acres (score of 2), Forest Cover % of less than 50% (score of 0), Dominant Forest Type-Hardwood (Score of 2), and Stream Frontage less than 1000 ft.(score of 0) for a TOTAL = 2+0+2+0 = 4

Biological Potential Rating:

0-2 Common

3-5 Moderate

6-8 Significant

Bioassessment General Description

After completing the table above, very briefly describe the environmental assets in and around the property. These may include:

Recreation

o Fishing

o Hunting

o Bird Watching

o Open Space

o Proximity to park or protected lands

Agriculture

o Soil Type

o Type of historic agricultural activity

Forestry

o (covered through bioassessment)

Biological

o Animals known or suspected to be in area.

o Plants known or suspected to be in area.

o Property within or adjacent to government or non-profit identified natural areas corridor

Historic Preservation

o National resister structure

o Rural historic district

Green Architecture or Design

o Environmentally-friendly building materials

o Environmentally-friendly design

o Energy efficient home

Other

o For example, Audubon Backyard Property

A 1/8-1/4 page description is appropriate.

The stewardship field requires information about conservation practices that will have been or will be employed by the seller. A description of the three primary types of stewardship practices is provided in Module 4 of the American Conservation Broker curriculum.

Stewardship

The stewardship field requires information about conservation practices that will have been or will be employed by the seller. A description of the three primary types of stewardship practices is provided in Module 4 of the American Conservation Broker curriculum.

Summary information is provided below:

The 3 primary types of stewardship practices suggested by Conserv include:

Landowner education

Landowner Education is an environmental assets awareness program for the purchaser and the easiest practice to implement through a sales transaction. The seller stipulates that the purchaser will agree to a visit by a local conservation organization to review the environmental assets on the property and what can be done to protect and enhance them. The Landowner Education program can also be used to educate a purchaser about practices that may have already been implemented by the seller. The meeting should be a condition of closing and consummated before closing takes place. Depending on the size of the property and the types of assets that exist, the meeting with the buyer may take no more than ½ hour.

The purchaser may specify in the listing agreement one or more public or private non-profit conservation-related organizations, such as:

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Local Land Trusts
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • Departments of Forestry

The Association hopes that this practice will serve as “Step 1″ for future Stewardship Practices that the purchaser will implement after the closing or will ensure continued conservation that has already taken place. See the Contacts and Resources Module to find non-profit and government organizations ready to help.

Property conservation plan

A Conservation Plan is another easy conservation method to implement through a sales transaction. The Plan goes a step farther than landowner education and provides to the purchaser a specific plan of action to protect or enhance assets found on the property. The Plan would be prepared by the same type of organizations that perform Landowner Education. The Plan should be prepared and a meeting with the purchaser should be held as a condition of closing, prior to closing.

The Plan can be prepared through a format provided by non-profit organization or through governmental organizations. Governmental organization plans include the following:

  • Soil Erosion Plans
  • Nutrient Management Plans
  • Pest Management Plan
  • Forest Stewardship Plan
  • Agricultural Stewardship Plan
  • Chesapeake Bay Plan

Tax credits may be available to support practices identified through these plans. See the Contacts and Resources Module to find non-profit and government organizations ready to help.

Easement

A conservation easement is the best habitat protection tool currently available. The reason is because it is permanent. According to Nancy A. McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Utah, a conservation easement is a legal agreement between the owner of the land and the holder of the easement that restricts the development and other uses of the land subject to the easement to accomplish certain conservation objectives, such as the preservation of open space, wildlife habitat, or agricultural land. It is generally granted in perpetuity, and is generally granted to a government agency or charitable conservation organization, often a “land trust”.

Conservation easements must be “donated” and depending upon the exact situation between a seller and buyer, not possible to execute through a sales transaction. Clients with interest in easements should be encouraged to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

Any one of these or all 3 may be employed in the Conservation Property transaction. Please note however that due to IRS requirements, donation of a conservation easement cannot take place as a condition of the conservation real estate listing.

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