What can you expect during Annual Monitoring Visits?
Once you sell a conservation easement to MALT, MALT staff will begin visiting your property annually. These annual visits are required by the terms of the conservation easement agreement. They also serve as a chance for us to get to know each other and to build an effective and lasting partnership.
Conservation easements codify public benefits, from maintaining open space to improving water and soil quality. The purpose of MALT’s annual monitoring visits is to ensure that your land use and practices are consistent with the terms agreed upon in your specific conservation easement document.
We know that you know your land best, and although it is not necessary for you to be present during these visits, we find it invaluable to connect with you (or your lessees) to discuss current management, changes in your operation, concerns or plans for the coming year and rangeland or pasture conditions. Annual monitoring visits also serve as great opportunities to discuss any concerns you may have about your land or agricultural operations and talk through the ways in which MALT can support you.
During monitoring visits our stewardship staff will drive or hike accessible portions of your property, focusing on any areas where you may have a concern. While traversing the ranch, we will photograph landscape features including but not limited to: infrastructure, roads, creeks and overall farm or ranch conditions. All of the information we collect is then compared to previous years and ultimately the baseline document report we created as part of the easement acquisition process. This process helps us understand changes to your property over time and also across the county. Once our visit is complete, we create a monitoring report and a map, and send you a follow-up letter summarizing everything we observed and discussed.