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  2. Standard 12: Land Stewardship
  3. B. Land Management and Stewardship

B. Land Management and Stewardship

  • Develop a written land management plan for each conservation property within 12 months after acquiring the land to:
    • Identify the property’s conservation values, including any significant cultural, Indigenous, historical and natural features, and identify threats to those features.
    • Identify the overall management goals for the property.
    • Identify activities and timeline to achieve the goals and to reduce any risks or threats to the conservation values.
    • Specify the uses that are appropriate for the property, in keeping with the property’s conservation values, any restrictions and donor or funder requirements.
  • Manage each conservation property in accordance with its management plan, and review and update the plan periodically.
  • Perform administrative duties (such as paying insurance, filing required forms, keeping records) in a timely and responsible manner.
  • Maintain the property in a manner that retains the land trust’s public credibility, manages community expectations and minimizes risk consistent with the land trust’s mission.


Many land trusts find it useful to develop general stewardship policies or principles to guide the management and use of their properties. These general policies or philosophic principles may be adapted in individual management plans to address the specific needs for a particular property. Stewardship policies or principles might address such items as public access, use of properties for research and environmental education, habitat manipulation, and standards for improvements. The more consistency in the types of properties a land trust owns, the more specific a set of general policies may be. The stewardship principles can be useful in guiding board decisions on land management and can help explain land management decisions to the public. Principles should be clearly stated in all management plans and all public relations material.