Federal Chesapeake Bay Strategies Issued

Six federal agencies led by the EPA issued the final strategy document, Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed [EPA‐903‐R‐10‐003] on May 12, 2010, following up an executive order mandating a federal strategy to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Among the outcomes sought by the strategy is “Protect an additional 2 million acres of [...]

USDA: $175M in Funding for Wetlands Reserve Program

USDA announced May 14, 2010, that $175 million in funding is available for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wetlands Reserve Program. USDA says that funding will add 75,000 additional acres to the approximately 2.2 million acres currently enrolled in the program. The funding will go to wetland conservation projects in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, [...]

Rocky Mountain Christian Church v Boulder County

United States Court Of Appeals Tenth Circuit, No. 09-1188, May 17, 2010
The court upheld a jury verdict that denial of the church’s special use application to build an additional 130,200 SF in an area designated as agricultural lands of importance in Agricultural Districts violated the “equal terms” and “unreasonable limitations” provisions of the Religious Land Use [...]

Lakewood Racquet Club Inc. v Jensen

State of Washington Court of Appeals Division II, No. 38906-1-II, May 18, 2010
In an issue of first impression in Washington the court held an original covenantee lacks standing to enforce restrictive covenants against an original covenantor when the covenantee no longer owns property that the covenants benefit. Covenants in a 1962 deed from Orr to [...]

Manchester Water Works v Town Of Auburn

Supreme Court of New Hampshire, No. 2009-335, May 20, 2010
The court held that a self-imposed conservation easement that was terminable by the owner of the servient land did not have to be taken into account in valuing the land for tax purposes. The court interpreted and differentiated the statutes that control municipal taxation of conservation easements [...]

Stonegate Family Holdings v Revolutionary Trails

New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department, 2010 NY Slip Op 03821, May 6, 2010

Summary judgment upholding the Boy Scouts’ 2002 grant of a conservation easement to NY State that allows public access via a right-of-way that crosses plaintiff-neighbor’s land. At issue was whether the State’s allowing use of the ROW by the public impermissibly [...]

Amicus Briefs for Kaufman Rehearing

The amicus briefs of National Trust for Historic Preservation and Trust for Architectural Easements supporting a rehearing in Kaufman v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue are available. The key issue is whether a mortgage holder’s priority claim on casualty insurance and condemnation proceeds causes a “conservation restriction” to lose its status as perpetual (under IRS regs) notwithstanding [...]

Stenehjem v Crosslands

SUPREME COURT OF NORTH DAKOTA, No. 20090199, May 13, 2010

Held that a corporation’s purchase of land violates the ban on corporate ownership of farmland if the predominant use and nature of the entire tract purchased is as farmland or ranchland, rejecting a determination of land use “acre-by-acre”. The purchaser, Crosslands, is a nonprofit corporation [...]

Western Radio Services Co. v United States Forest Service

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division. No. 08-6359-HO, March 23, 2010.

Standing to request an injunction alleging violations of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act was denied, in part, based on mootness. Western Radio (WRS) was denied a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction earlier in this litigation to [...]