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Property Review: Selection Standards & Criteria


Reprise of 2024 Land Conservation Conference Session

Property review is an essential step in determining if a property is worth conserving, how it may rank in priority with other potential properties, and if a land trust has the capacity to take on a new project. The Land Trust Alliance’s Accreditation Standard #08 addresses Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects, with five practices to guide how to do so. With many opportunities to conserve land and limited wherewithal, review serves a pivotal role in prioritizing property acquisitions. It is up to the land trust to gauge each project’s conservation value, partnerships and support, fundability, stewardship capacity, and purpose. A wealth of data is available which can be used in the property review process, but selecting the appropriate criteria can easily become overwhelming.

This presentation will review LTA Accreditation Standard #08 and demonstrate how two organizations approach new property inquiries differently through an established review process. Allegheny Land Trust follows a multi-step process involving completion of a property inquiry form, initial property review, and project evaluation form. Similarly, Natural Lands’ multi-step project review process includes an initial landowner contact/intake form, preliminary yes/no desk review, and criteria evaluation. In the past year, Natural Lands has been working to revise its project selection criteria using GIS data compilations to more directly consider climate change resilience, biodiversity and habitat connectivity, risk of sprawl, and connecting underserved communities to nature. While these two processes take slightly different approaches, they both serve a critical role that best suits the organization when evaluating new projects.

$25.00 (free for WeConservePA members)


Reach out to [email protected] if you need your member code.


Casey Markle | Conservation Associate, Allegheny Land Trust

Casey has been with the Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) since 2022, taking the lead on inquiry response and property review for the organization. Casey also assists in land acquisition, coordinating due diligence efforts, ensuring adherence to national land trust accreditation compliance standards, supporting grant applications, and he is involved in multiple watershed research and water mitigation projects. Prior to working at ALT, Casey worked at Atlas Technical Consultants as a technical specialist conducting phase I environmental site assessments and field sampling. Casey is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, devoting much of his research to abandoned mine drainage and eutrophication. He has a multidisciplinary background in environmental education, laboratory and field analysis, and environmental consulting. 

Robyn Jeney | Land Protection Project Manager, Natural Lands

Robyn joined Natural Lands in 2019 as a Land Protection Project Manager. She is engaged primarily in land and conservation easement acquisitions. Prior to joining Natural Lands, Robyn was a Resource Planner with the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, where she administered the Commission’s land acquisition grant program and managed the implementation of roadside habitat mowing and maintenance practices. Robyn has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from the Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Resource Management from the University of Pennsylvania. 


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