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Legal Services
Conservation Partners is counsel to more than a dozen land trusts and other organizations involved in conservation transactions throughout California. We provide the range of legal services required by nonprofit land trusts, including negotiating transactions; advising staff and board regarding organizational, governance, and policy matters; providing legal advice on stewardship issues; assisting with drafting plans, manuals, policies and procedures; obtaining certification from the Land Trust Alliance; providing training at meetings and workshops, and assisting with dispute resolution.

Clients include:

  • Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust
  • California Council of Land Trusts
  • Inland Mendocino County Land Trust
  • Mendocino Land Trust
  • Mojave Desert Land Trust
  • The Land Trust of Napa County
  • National Audubon Society - California
  • Nevada Land Conservancy
  • Redwood Coast Land Conservancy
  • Shasta Land Trust
  • Sierra Cascade Land Trust Council
  • Solano Land Trust
  • Transition Habitat Conservancy
  • Wilderness Land Trust

Working alongside professionals with complementary expertise and experience, we have drafted conservation plans and manuals including:

  • Stewardship Manual (published in 2006)– As part of a team, prepared an extensive stewardship plan for the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District.
  • Agricultural Conservation Easement Plan– As part of team, prepared a detailed agricultural conservation easement plan for the Solano Land Trust.
  • Land Trust Policies and Procedures– Prepared policies and procedures for several land trusts regarding conflicts of interest, mitigation arrangements and stewardship and record retention.

We offer workshops for staff and boards. Topics include drafting techniques, conflicts of interest and nonprofit governance issues, and understanding Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.

Dispute Resolution/Mediation
Ellen is a certified mediator with experience in dispute resolution in real estate and myriad other matters. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution and is used to resolve disputes between two or more parties, preferably prior to the instigation of costly litigation. The mediator assists the parties to negotiate their own settlement or, in some cases, mediators may express a view on what might be a fair or reasonable settlement, generally where all the parties agree that the mediator may do so. With Ellen’s experience in conservation law, this service can be utilized to reach settlement in cases involving disputes over a landowner’s activities on easement-encumbered property whether before, during, or after the activity has commenced.

Public Speaking
Ellen has given numerous presentations at conservation conferences and continuing education courses on a wide variety of conservation matters. Recent speaking and training engagements include:

  • CCLT Virtual Legal Roundtable (monthly)
  • Land Trust Alliance Rally, October 2011, Workshops: Preparing For and Responding to Condemnation; Drafting Conservation Easements: FAQs
  • Second Annual (Boston) Advanced Conservation Easement Conference – Feb. 2011
  • CCLT Annual Conference – March 2009
Copyright 2011.
All Rights Reserved.
Phone: (510) 290-0165
Email: efred@conservationpartners.com