Documenting and Protecting Biodiversity on Land Trust Projects

- an introduction and practical guide

By Christopher R. Wilson


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This user-friendly guide, published by the Land Trust Alliance and funded by Sweet Water Trust, bridges the gap between conservation biology and its application to typical land trust projects. Intended for land trusts, landowners, biologists, planners, and students, the handbook explains biodiversity and how it's conserved, what types of biological information are most useful, and how to gather such information through reviews of freely-available data sources and on-the-ground biological inventories. The book also explains how to apply biological information to standard land protection tasks, such as project selection, fundraising, drafting conservation easement language, compiling baseline documentation, writing management plans, and how the information helps land trust projects conform to IRS Treasury regulations and Land Trust Standards and Practices.


Reviewers have commented:

"This book falls into that rare category of 'necessary.' For people concerned about preserving the fabric of this earth in a time of tempestuous change, Chris Wilson has provided a mandatory manual. It will do much good in the world."
BILL MCKIBBEN, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy, advisor to Northeast Wilderness Trust

“Everybody talks about saving nature. Here's your operating manual for getting the job done. It clearly explains how to assess biodiversity on a property, what it takes to maintain or restore it, where to find expert help at each stage, and why this all matters. Add solid advice on subjects from fundraising for projects to complying with regulations, and you have a book that belongs in every land trust office. The sooner, the better.”
DOUGLAS H. CHADWICK, wildlife biologist, author of The Wolverine Way, and a founding board member of the conservation land trust Vital Ground

“This book should serve as an important resource to land conservation practitioners hoping to maximize their conservation impact. It provides a concise introduction to many important facets of the rapidly changing world of biodiversity conservation; where information can be quite powerful, and bringing the right information to your decisions can make all 
the difference.”
PATRICK COMER, Chief Ecologist, NatureServe

"I have read and studied this book cover-to-cover and am impressed by its comprehensive treatment of how to document and further protect biological diversity and habitats from the perspective of a land trust. Its practical approach to document and assess lands is very useful as well as the introduction of key information sources, how to present information accurately, and the emphasis on mapping and GIS as an important tool that land trusts should utilize."
MICHAEL SCISCO, conservation director, New Mexico Land Conservancy



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