For more information visit: https://utahopenlands.org/
8:00-8:30 – CHECK-IN
8:30-9:00 – CONSERVATION 101
From the moment a conservation easement becomes the focus of a solution for a landowning family there are many important necessary and legal steps that must be followed to ensure the preservation of the property. Whether working with a community interested in saving a beloved landscape or a longstanding landowning family, this panel discusses the nuts and bolts of the deal from inception to recordation. Get the tax planning, drafting and title challenges addressed by a conservation easement attorney and find out what a land trust needs to do to navigate preservation from negotiation to stewardship.
Panelists: Ben Machlis, Mark Raming, Jeff Appel
9:00-10:00 – TRYING TIMES: LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM RECENT FEDERAL TAX CASES
The Internal Revenue Service continues to audit and, in some cases, litigate conservation easement donation transactions. This session will address recent cases in which the IRS challenged the federal deduction claimed with regard to conservation easement donations and the lessons to be learned from these cases regarding drafting easements and other due diligence considerations. Also addressed will be the recent rise in, and IRS focus on, “syndicated” conservation easement transactions. Learn how investment opportunities that seem too good to be true are just that.
Panelists: Nancy McLaughlin, Chris Donaldson
10:15-11:15 -INTERPRETATION AND ENFORCEMENT: CONSERVATION INTO PERPETUITY
As conservation easements age, questions regarding the interpretation of easements can arise. What may have seemed obvious during the drafting stage can cause confusion, even just ten years later. Add to this the complexity of these lands changing hands from the original landowner, which can increase the potential for requests for amendments and terminations, as well as the potential for violations that can result from ignorance of the conservation easement or willfulness on the part of the landowner. This session will cover recent cases and other controversies involving these issues from around the nation. Learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and the roles played by landowners, land trusts, the community, the courts, and state attorneys general in these cases.
Panelists: Nancy McLaughlin, Jeff Appel, Wendy Fisher, Chris Donaldson
11:15-12:00 – WHEN YOUR BEST DEFENSE IS OFFENSE
The best practice is to be out on the land and know what is going on. But someday, it is possible you will experience an encroachment. How you resolve violations on your property is critical in terms of protecting conservation values there, but also sets the stage for how effective you will handle potential future violations. A backhoe begins to build a trench. An adjacent boundary line is fuzzy. We’ve been there. Learn more through a Utah Open Lands case study.
Panelists: Ben Stireman, Mike Auger, Chris Donaldson
12:00-1:30 – NETWORKING LUNCH (Lunch provided)
Hear from the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation regarding the impacts of open space and outdoor recreation on Utah’s economy.
Speaker: Tom Adams
1:30-2:30 – BENEFITS OF PARTNERING
Private and public partnerships can often times be the most cost effective as well as the most secure way to preserve open space. From open space bonds to conservation easements to management and community engagement municipalities, governmental agencies and nonprofits are realizing that partnerships are a way to leverage resources and engage the community. In this session, open space managers from cities and counties will discuss the pros and cons of working with nonprofit entities in pursuing the protection of land and preserving a community’s quality of life.
Panelists: Wendy Fisher, Lewis Kogan, Heinrich Deters
2:30- 2:45 – BREAK
2:45-3:30 – MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR CONSERVATION EASEMENTS: WHY YOU MIGHT WANT ONE
A conservation easement defines permitted and prohibited uses on a property in order to protect the conservation values attendant to the land. In a climate changing world and for those properties that are in need of restoration how do you create benchmarks of success, best management practices and maintain positive conservation flexibility when you are working with a recorded, set in stone document. Is a management plan the answer? This session will discuss how to create a management plan, whether it is necessary to have an adopted management plan prior to recoding the conservation easement and the pros and cons of involving ‘stakeholders’.
Panelists: Wendy Fisher, Heinrich Deters, Mike Auger
Speaker: Cheryl Fox