Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Conservation Property®?
In a nutshell, Conservation Property® is an expression of a person’s conservation philosophy. It is about stewardship. It’s about managing land, and the improvements on the land in a sustainable manner. It can be a property of any size, with a home on it or not. An approved written plan, commonly referred to as a Stewardship Plan or Conservation Plan addresses the use, management, and protection of the land and the natural resources along with the improvements on the land. The written plan is required before obtaining certification and use of the phrase Conservation Property®.
2. Why a Conservation Property®?
Many People have a strong conservation ethic and are looking for ways to do express that ethic. We all know that there are environmental issues that affect us all. The national press spends a good amount of time discussing environmental problems that affect the entire planet, The world is a big place so people may ask what can I do that will make a difference? “Think Globally, Act Locally”, if you will.
Getting your property Certified as a Conservation Property® is one option. It may be the first step in expressing your concerns, and provide a road map that shows you how to take steps that lead toward sustainability at home base. This plan, often referred to as a Stewardship Plan or Conservation Plan, provides definite actions that you can take to manage both the Land and the Improvements on that land in a more sustainable manner.
How does this apply to Real Estate? Obtaining Conservation Property® certification is a voluntary expression of a landowner that defines their conservation ethic. It provides a venue where buyers and sellers of like-mind can find property managed in a way similar to the way they want to manage the Land & Home when buying or selling real estate. The search for potential properties is thus simplified.
3. Is a Conservation Property® limited by size?
Large tracts of Land, Timberland, Farms and Ranches, Rural Residential properties on acreage, and In-town Lots with or without homes are all examples of properties that can be managed as Conservation Property®.
4. What are some activities that I can do on my property that might be recommended in a Stewardship or Conservation plan? Following are just a few activities; there are many more.
In-town Lot with a Home.
- Energy efficient construction or remodeling.
- Have a written Plan developed by a qualified consultant
- Use wood from a certified sustainably managed tree farm
- Alternative energy Systems
- Use wood and other products from verifiably sustainable sources.
- Strategic placement of vegetation around homes that assist with heating and cooling
- Hazardous fuels reduction
- Water Conservation
- Plant Native and Drought Resistant Plants
- Reduce Lawn Area
- Plant Edible Landscape for wildlife and people. Fruit & Nut Trees. Berries, Grapes and herbs,etc.
- Vegetable Garden
- Install Bird Boxes, Bird Baths, and nesting for other wildlife
Timberland, Farms and Ranches, and Rural Residential
- Manage timber under a sustained yield management plan, while incorporating activities that improve wildlife management, water and soil protection, and recreational opportunities.
- Activities that are outlined for the home and yard above apply also to the residential uses of large tract parcels.
- Agricultural activities on farms and ranches should be planned, using best practices, for the intended use, but also to protect the resources so that sustainability can be achieved. Examples might include rotational grazing of livestock to prevent overgrazing, contour plowing, and Sustained Yield forest management.
5. How can I get my property certified as a Conservation Property?
In order to represent a property as a Conservation Property®, your property must obtain certification (see below). The property must have a written plan that address sustainable management of the natural resources and the improvements on the land. A written plan, written by a natural resources professional qualified to address land management, and/or building professionals to address construction and energy systems that improve conservation, is necessary for certification. (If there are no buildings currently on the property, a statement of the landowners general goals for energy efficient construction and alternative energy systems will suffice until a home is built. Over time, a well-defined set of criteria will be established for Certification, and use of the Conservation Property® trademark. (Logo)
Currently, a plan approved from American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Oregon Forest Stewardship Plan and other similar conservation programs, would satisfy the land requirements of the Conservation Property Protocol. (These all need to be reviewed and approved The Conservation Company prior to the use of the term Conservation Property® publically). If the property has a home on it then the plan must have sections addressing management of the land and the conservation systems of the home. Certificiation from Earth Advantage, LEED, Energy Star or other similar Green Certification organizations are acceptable for satisfying energy efficiency systems of the home. and energy systems.
6. Does having my property Certified as a Conservation Property® impose a legal restriction on my property?
Conservation Property® is a voluntary designation. It does not impose a deed restriction on the use of the land, as does a Conservation Easement. Its purpose is to give the landowner a roadmap for managing the property sustainably. When a Conservation Property is for sale, it gives notification to Like-minded Buyers that this property has a plan and history of sustainable management.
7. How is a Conservation Property® designation different than a Conservation Easement?
Conservation Easements, unlike Conservation Property®, create a legal restriction on the use of the land, via a deed restriction. Though properties that are encumbered by a Conservation Easement are not necessarily a Conservation Property®, that does not preclude a property with a Conservation Easement form being certified as a Conservation Property. The philosophies of the two have many similarities, but differ in that Conservations Easements are legally binding and Conservation Property is Voluntary