Principals Roger Lord and Mark Rasmussen participated in the ‘Getting to Yes’ presentation at the 2015 Land Trust Alliance Rally. The presentation was part of the ‘Doing Deals and Ensuring Permanence’ track at this year’s conference, which took place on October 8-10 in Sacramento, CA.
The four person panel discussion focused on how to get to “Yes” on how to get to “Yes” when negotiating conservation deals with timberland investors. It examined how Land Trusts can be more effective in the acquisition of working forest conservation easements or fee lands by understanding how timberland is valued. The MB&G team reviewed trends in investment-grade timberland ownership in the U.S., common appraisal approaches, drivers of timberland value, and barriers to doing conservation deals with this class of owners.
Following the overview by Mark and Roger, representatives of a timberland investor organization and land trust discussed overcoming many barriers encountered during complicated and controversial, multi-phase conservation project near Mount St Helens. Cherie Kearney has been at the Columbia Land Trust since 1998 and currently leads the Forestry Initiative and manages conservation ventures involving complex stakeholder and funding interests. Jon Rose is President of the Olympic Property Group, the real estate arm of Pope Resources. He oversees all aspects of the company’s 2,500-acre higher-and-better-use land portfolio.
The case study was followed by a panel discussion addressing numerous questions from the audience.
The National Land Conservation Conference, known as the ‘Rally,’ is the largest land conservation conference in the country and is attended by more than 1,800 land trust staff, volunteers, professionals, agencies, and others from all 50 states, Canada, South America and beyond. The Rally offers diverse topics on conservation resources and includes field trips, high-quality educational sessions, inspirational keynote speakers, and special events are held throughout the program.
The Land Trust Alliance supports land trusts across the nation and has more than five million members. Their work represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state and includes education programs to improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska. MB&G has been a Partner of the Land Trust Alliance since 2013.