The Compact.Ct


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Slide show describing the founding and operation of the nation's oldest self-sustaining regional service center for non-profit land conservation trusts, The Compact of Cape COd Cosnervation Trusts, Inc., founded 1986

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The Compact.Ct

  1. 2. <ul><li>REGIONAL SERVICE CENTERS FOR LOCAL LAND TRUSTS: </li></ul><ul><li>HOW AND WHEN </li></ul><ul><li>MIGHT THEY MAKE SENSE? </li></ul><ul><li>by </li></ul><ul><li>Mark H. Robinson </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Director </li></ul><ul><li>The Compact of Cape Cod </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation Trusts, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>2008 </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>The Compact is the oldest, self-sustaining regional service center </li></ul><ul><li>for land trusts in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Land Trust Alliance, 2002: </li></ul><ul><li>Compact “a national model of sustainable land trust cooperation on a regional basis” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Robert Bowers, LTA Board Chairman, letter to The Compact. </li></ul><ul><li>Texas State University, 2005: </li></ul><ul><li>Compact “an excellent example of how a grassroots effort of dedicated land trusts can build a sustainable service center that continues to evolve to meet the needs of land trusts.” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Rebecca Ann Blecke, “Land Trust Training and Technical Assis-tance Programs: A National Assessment,” M.P.A. thesis, TSU, Fall 2005. </li></ul>
  4. 5. “ Models of Collaboration Among Land Trusts” by Sylvia Bates for Maine Coast Heritage Trust, June 2005 <ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers who manage land trusts find the full-time staff support of Compact crucial </li></ul><ul><li>Compact enables land trusts to do more work and more ambitious complex projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Compact’s philosophy: best way to keep Compact strong is to build capacity of land trusts </li></ul><ul><li>Compact does not compete with member land trust on fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Compact cannot substitute for local leadership </li></ul>
  6. 7. Ingredients of The Compact <ul><li>Shared regional identity : an area that makes sense to people ( Cape Cod, as opposed to MetroWest, whatever that is) </li></ul><ul><li>Scope : large enough to create economies of scale, small enough to be present in each community regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Create trust by time, familiarity </li></ul><ul><li>Longevity at the top </li></ul><ul><li>Create value-added for each member land trust; money being well-spent </li></ul><ul><li>Not just a clearinghouse, hands-on help </li></ul>
  7. 8. Vive la difference! <ul><li>Most land trust service centers founded with </li></ul><ul><li>“ top-down” approach or “ other peoples’ money ” </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Connecticut Land Trust Service Bureau founded by The Nature Conservancy </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering Waters land trust coalition in Wisconsin funded by state operating budget </li></ul><ul><li>LTA funded statewide land trust centers in NY and WA. </li></ul><ul><li>BUT , The Compact formed by local land trusts banding together and self-funding. </li></ul>
  8. 9. No land trust needs to join a coalition to keep doing what they are doing.
  9. 10. <ul><ul><li>Groupings of land trusts work when those land trusts want to do more . </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. All-volunteer land trusts can do land projects without The Compact. They cannot do multiple, complex projects simultaneously without The Compact.
  11. 12. BEGINNINGS
  12. 13. How did The Compact start? <ul><li>It was a sunny Saturday morning, light streaming in the basement windows of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in 1986. The Celtics had just won their (still) last championship. The height of the 1980s development boom was upon us. Ansel Chaplin of Truro polled the delegates sent from five Lower Cape land trusts and Barnstable to see if they would be willing to pool some funds together to create a regional entity to provide formal support to their work. </li></ul><ul><li> The delegates were hesitant. Some were parochial, jealously guarding their community’s identity. Some feared creating a bloated, distant bureaucracy. Some wondered whether it could be sustained financially. </li></ul><ul><li> “ Well, Brewster’s in,” said John Lobingier of the Brewster Conservation Trust. That broke the logjam and the others joined in. It was a form of social compact, each agreeing to work together for the good of the whole, for the good of the whole Cape’s environment… </li></ul><ul><li>Reprinted with permission of Cape Cod Life magazine, July 2006 </li></ul>
  13. 14. How did The Compact start? <ul><li>Recognition that each could learn from the others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most local land trusts had sprung up around the same time; none had any staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Saw what access to technical assistance could do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5-yr. old Truro land trust pulled off a $3 million deal with consulting help </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Started sub-regionally, eventually grew regionally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Five Lower Cape Cod land trusts, easy to get together </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Founding Land Trusts of The Compact, 1986 <ul><li>LAND TRUST Delegate to Compact </li></ul><ul><li>Barnstable Land Trust, Inc. Elisabeth Eaton Clark </li></ul><ul><li>Brewster Conservation Trust John L. Lobingier </li></ul><ul><li>Orleans Conservation Trust Charles H. Thomsen </li></ul><ul><li>Provincetown Conservation Trust Richard LeBlond </li></ul><ul><li>Truro Conservation Trust Ansel B. Chaplin </li></ul><ul><li>Wellfleet Conservation Trust Gary J. Joseph </li></ul>These six land trusts signed the articles of incorporation and secured their land trusts’ respective funding support for the initial $20,000 budget. As the convenor, Truro decided to put in $9,000 and received 45% of staff time. Brewster contributed $6,000 and received 30% of staff time. Wellfleet gave $2,000 and reserved 10% of available hours. The other three land trusts put in $1,000 each and received 5% of the staff’s work on their projects. Mark Robinson was hired as the part-time executive director; he had been consulting for Truro and attending early Compact meetings as a secretary.
  15. 16. Members of The Compact, 2007 <ul><li>Association to Preserve Cape Cod </li></ul><ul><li>Barnstable Land Trust, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Bourne Conservation Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Brewster Conservation Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Chatham Conservation Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition for Buzzards Bay </li></ul><ul><li>Dennis Conservation Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Eastham Conservation Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>The 300 Committee, Inc. (Falmouth) </li></ul><ul><li>Friends of Pleasant Bay </li></ul><ul><li>Harwich Conservation Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Barton Land Cons. Trust (Cotuit) </li></ul>Massachusetts Audubon Society The Nature Conservancy (MA Chapter) Orenda Wildlife Land Trust, Inc. Orleans Conservation Trust Provincetown Conservation Trust Quissett Harbor Preservation Trust Sandwich Conservation Trust Three Bays Preservation, Inc. (Barnstable) Truro Conservation Trust Wellfleet Conservation Trust Yarmouth Conservation Trust 20 Voting Members – $1,500 minimum for dues and service; entitled to direct service on projects, access to Land Fund loans and grants 3 Associate Members - $300 - $500 annual dues
  16. 17. Board of Directors - 18 (each Voting Member land trust pays $1,500 per year and sends a delegate to vote on Compact matters; meets 7x/yr.) GOVERNANCE Thomsen Land Fund Managers – 6 (appointed by Board of Directors, including 2 at-large, non-board members; has separate decisionmaking on investments and requests by land trusts for mini-grants and low-interest loans; reports decisions to Board; meets as needed; advised by Exec. Dir.) Staff – 3 Executive Director Mark Robinson, 22 years Assistant Director Michael Lach, 8 years Senior Land Protection Specialist Paula Goldberg, 4 years (all full-time professionals) Nominating Committee – 3 Recommends officers, and annual award recipient
  17. 18. SERVICES
  18. 19. COMPACT REVENUES, 2006 Most of the funding for The Compact’s operations comes from the land trusts themselves, in the form of annual dues and fees for direct services on their local projects. Source: 2006 audit of The Compact
  19. 20. How Compact staff time is spent Regional Projects 20% General and Administration 4 % Member Land Trust Projects   76% Source: Compact timesheets, 2005
  20. 21. How does The Compact bill for land trust services? <ul><li>Each Voting Member land trust is entitled to 20 hours of direct service on its projects for its base $1,500 dues and fees. </li></ul><ul><li>Compact secures authorization from land trust president for each new project </li></ul><ul><li>Each additional hour is billed at $35.00 per hour for each staff person; 2008 staff salary & overhead ranges from $39 to $53 per hour </li></ul><ul><li>Outside grants and contributions to operations subsidize hourly rate for land trusts </li></ul><ul><li>Staff keeps daily logs of each quarter-hour used on land trust projects </li></ul><ul><li>Land trusts billed twice per year with total hours tallied </li></ul>
  21. 22. Compact Operating Budgets and Annual Dues <ul><li>YEAR BUDGET LAND TRUST SERVICE </li></ul><ul><li> DUES FEES </li></ul><ul><li>1986 $ 20,000 $1,000 $20/hr. </li></ul><ul><li>1992 $ 45,000 $1,000 $25/hr. </li></ul><ul><li>2000 $145,000 $1,500 $25/hr. </li></ul><ul><li>2005 $200,000 $1,500 $30/hr. </li></ul><ul><li>2008 $270,000 $1,500 $35/hr. </li></ul>The Compact has been able to keep dues and fees low, owing to increase in land trust memberships, and subsidies in the form of grants and donations.
  22. 23. Types of services provided to Member land trusts: <ul><li>Landowner outreach and negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>Deed, conservation restriction drafting and approvals </li></ul><ul><li>Natural resource baseline & property inventories </li></ul><ul><li>Educational workshops for land trusts and landowners </li></ul><ul><li>Regional open space research & ranking </li></ul><ul><li>Land use management plans for conservation areas </li></ul><ul><li>Grant writing </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletter writing, editing, layout </li></ul><ul><li>Advice on public filings </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising campaign structure </li></ul><ul><li>Membership development coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison to county, regional and state non-profits & agencies, media </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivation of regional network of professionals available to assist land trusts at no or low cost </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever else land trusts want/need and cannot get done with their available help!! </li></ul>
  23. 24. The Compact arranged this entire deal for the all-volunteer Yarmouth Conservation Trust and the Town. The Compact negotiated the purchase, secured the loans and guarantee, and wrote the State grant and the CR.
  24. 25. SERVICES NOT PROVIDED <ul><li>Land trust membership data base tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Envelope stuffing </li></ul><ul><li>On-the-ground land maintenance (i.e., driving around with rakes and saws) </li></ul><ul><li>Most tax filings </li></ul><ul><li>Local leadership </li></ul>
  25. 26. PROGRAMS
  26. 27. <ul><li>Perceived Open Space Project: A two-year effort (2005-6) to identify all private parcels of land in each town (9,900 acres total) that are used for agricultural, recreational or institutional purposes, such as farms, summer camps, and museum lands, that may or may not be protected as open space. An outreach effort to encourage these owners to employ protective overlays on their lands will be pursued. Funded by a grant from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Cape Cod Land Fund: A revolving loan fund providing local land trusts with timely access to capital to purchase critical property for conservation. Capitalized at $650,000, the Fund has provided 30 loans since 1992 totaling $2.15 million. Over $79,000 in small grants have also been distributed to local projects. In total, grants and loans have resulted in the purchase of 600 acres worth $17 million. </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>Cape Cod Wildlife Conservation Project: This scientific mapping and planning process (1997-2003) advances the goal of preserving biodiversity on Cape Cod by identifying priority parcels of wildlife habitat. The needs of critical and keystone wildlife species have been evaluated, and lands with characteristics that fit those needs have been identified as high priorities for protection. Funding provided by International Fund for Animal Welfare, Sweet Water Trust, Woods Hole Research Center, and The Nature Conservancy. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Priority Ponds / Lands Project: This effort (2001-2003) identified the most important freshwater ponds to save on Cape Cod, based on their relative importance for water quality, wildlife habitat and recreational values. One result is a list of the top 200 pondfront parcels remaining undeveloped. An outreach effort is being made to the owners of these important pondfront parcels to educate them about conservation options. Funding provided by The Dolphin Trust and the Agua Fund. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Land Bank/CPA Training & Implementation: This is an ongoing grant-funded effort to provide land acquisition training and policy research for the volunteer land bank and Community Preservation Act committees in each of 15 Cape Cod towns. Seven training modules have been prepared on issues including negotiation, outside funding, and tax incentives for landowners. Funding provided by The Dolphin Trust, Island Foundation, and the Pegasus Foundation . </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Take Back the Cape: Discovering Opportunities for Undevelopment: In 2001 The Compact produced a color booklet describing nine case studies on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard in which towns and land trusts have restored blighted developed sites into natural areas and parks. It is hoped that this publication will inspire other communities to consider efforts to do likewise. Funding by the Dunn Foundation of Rhode Island and the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Cape Cod Pathways: This project (1995-2004) involves the creation of a countywide network of linked walking trails from one end of the Cape to another. Over 50 miles of paths have been dedicated to the regional system. The Compact has produced five extensive interpretive trail guides, and planning maps for six towns and the National Seashore. Funding provided by the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust and Barnstable County. </li></ul>
  27. 28. There are only 300 acres of American holly/American beech forest on Cape Cod, according to the Wildlife Conservation Project , a countywide GIS mapping project published by The Compact in 2003.
  28. 29. In 2003, The Compact published its Cape Cod Priority Ponds Project , which analyzed and ranked for protection almost 3,000 pondshore parcels totaling more than 12,000 acres.
  29. 30. In 2005, The Compact completed its Perceived Open Space Project , inventorying about 9,000 acres on Cape Cod, all unprotected lands used for recreation, agriculture or institutional use, such as the boy scout camp in Yarmouth shown here.
  30. 31. Charles H. Thomsen Land Fund for Cape Cod <ul><li>The Charles H. Thomsen Land Fund for Cape Cod is a The Compact’s revolving loan fund, providing local land trusts with timely access to capital to purchase critical property for conservation since 1992. </li></ul><ul><li>Charlie Thomsen was a founder of The Compact in 1986, Land Fund fundraiser, and long-time Treasurer and Vice-President. He also served as President of the Orleans Conservation Trust for almost 20 years. In 2004, he received The Compact's Chaplin Award for outstanding service in preserving open space on Cape Cod. </li></ul>“ A distinguishing quality of the Land Fund is the close connection between the Compact’s leadership and the client land trusts. The land trusts work together to guide The Compact, which creates a high level of trust and interchange. The commitment to shared risk developed through an awareness of the work of each trust, and the governance role that these land trusts play in The Compact, allow the loan fund staff and board to feel comfortable offering generous, flexible loan terms.” Source: A Field Guide to Conservation Finance by Story Clark, Island Press, 2007, p. 243.
  31. 32. Charles H. Thomsen Land Fund for Cape Cod <ul><li>Working capital: $650,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Loan terms: 1% -4%, unsecured, short-term (less than 5 years) </li></ul><ul><li>30 loans made since 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>Loans have ranged from $7,500 to $300,000 </li></ul><ul><li>$2,153,000 in loans made, all but $20,000 has been paid back so far. </li></ul><ul><li>$80,000 in small grants have also been distributed to local projects. </li></ul><ul><li>In total, grants and loans have resulted in the purchase of 600 acres worth more than $17 million. </li></ul>The Thomsen Land Fund provides money for land acquisitions by tree-huggers all over Cape Cod.
  32. 33. Photo by Farley Lewis How do we measure The Compact’s success?
  33. 34. ACRES PRESERVED BY LOCAL LAND TRUSTS CAPE COD <ul><li>Five-year totals Acres </li></ul><ul><li>1962 to 1966 52 </li></ul><ul><li>1967 to 1971 96 </li></ul><ul><li>1972 to 1976 240 </li></ul><ul><li>1997 to 1981 206 </li></ul><ul><li>1982 to 1986 650 </li></ul><ul><li>The Compact founded in 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>1987 to 1991 469 </li></ul><ul><li>1992 to 1996 1,372 </li></ul><ul><li>1997 to 2001 1,286 </li></ul><ul><li>2002 to 2006 1,420 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>1. Local land trusts have been able to accelerate their land acquisition work since The Compact began making an impact in the late 1980s.
  34. 35. 2. Testimonials re: credibility … Robinson is fortunate to be plugged into the network of land trusts across the Cape, &quot;a very quiet collection of champions for open space,&quot; he said. &quot;There would be no Compact were it not for these people wanting to see each other succeed all over the Cape.&quot; Their combined expertise is why towns, trusts, state agencies and national conservation groups view Robinson and the Compact as a clearinghouse for conservation projects, from walking trails to habitats of endangered species. &quot;He's an asset to Cape Cod, that's for sure,&quot; said Elliott Carr, president of the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank. &quot;We saw the Compact out there, fighting for open space, before there was a land bank,&quot; said Carr, who is also a board member of the Brewster Conservation Trust. “Robinson knows as much about the land in Brewster as any of us and is constantly coming in with ideas and expertise .&quot; Cape Cod Times , 1999
  35. 36. 3 . No Voting Member has ever left The Compact Each land trust votes each year whether or not to renew its membership in The Compact. No land trust is obligated to join or rejoin. The fact that none has ever resigned its membership indicates that each land trust feels it is getting value for its dollar, in terms of services and access to benefits.
  36. 37. Monomoy Light