Resources for Learning More and Getting Started

If you are interested in exploring natural asset management for your community, there are a growing number of resources to learn more and help get you started. Please reach out if you have questions or would like to learn more.

Project Resources 

Coming soon!

External Resources

Data Describing Natural Assets

Coming soon!

Glossary of Terms

  • Conservation Easement – A legal agreement where a private landowner voluntarily agrees to sell or donate rights on their property to a qualified conservation organization or government entity in order to restrict the future uses of that property. In most cases, this means removing the right for that property to be subdivided or developed for residential, commercial or industrial purposes. In other cases, conservation easements can also be used to require certain activities take place on that property like: farming, habitat restoration or carbon sequestration. When a landowner sells or donates a conservation easement, they continue to be the underlying owner of the property though with new restrictions in place that are monitored by the conservation organization of local government that holds the easement. Most conservation easements are permanent, meaning once those rights are sold or donated, they are held forever. However, sometimes conservation easements can be temporary and for fixed periods of time from 5 to 100 or more years. Individual funding programs will have rules about whether a conservation easement needs to be permanent or temporary.
  • Fee Simple – Is the full ownership of the rights and titles for a piece of land. When a conservation project is pursuing a “fee simple acquisition,” it means that the conservation organization wants to buy these full rights from the current landowner so that they can own and manage the property themselves. Fee simple acquisitions are common when land is being conserved for uses that are not compatible with existing private land ownership. This can be for things like creating a new park, nature preserve or community forest.
  • Focus – There are many conservation funding programs and all of them are focused on enhancing different environmental values. How a program protects these values determines its “focus.” For example, a program that is designed to fund projects that protect clean water would be focused on things like water quality or water quantity.  
  • Local Government – These are city, town or county governments.
  • Match – Most conservation funding programs require that project proponents have a certain amount of match in hand. “Match” refers to additional fundraising that shows that a group is capable of raising money from a diverse set of sources. Think about a match as the down payment that you need to show that you are serious about your project. The amount of match that you will need depends on the program you are applying for. Usually, different funding programs can be used as a match against one other. In these cases, it’s important to determine whether two or more programs work as a match for one another by looking at the timing of the funding application, program eligibility and the source of the funding.    
  • Non-Profit – These are tax exempt organizations that exist to promote charitable purposes. These are groups like land trusts and other conservation groups.
  • Planning – Planning refers to a set of activities such as research, surveys and other kinds of analysis to determine how best to protect environmental values on any given property or larger landscape.
  • Private Landowner – These are individuals, families or companies that own the land and its underlying rights. 
  • Source of Funding – Source of funding corresponds to the level of government where funding for a program originates. Knowing from what level of government funding is coming from is very important for securing a match. Many programs don’t allow match dollars to come from the same source so it’s important to balance federal funding against state funding or state funding against local or private fundraising.