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Clickable Guide - Land Trust Alliance:

STANDARD 1 - Ethics, Mission and Community 


Mission, Planning and Evaluation

Community Engagement

STANDARD 2 - Compliance with Laws

Compliance with Laws

Nonprofit Incorporation and Bylaws

Federal Tax Exemption

STANARD 3 - Board Accountability

Board Responsibility

Board Composition and Structure

Board Governance

Board Approval of Transactions

STANDARD 4 - Conflicts of Interest

STANDARD 5 - Fundraising

Legal and Ethical Practices

Accountability to Donors

Fundraising Plan

Non-conservation Real Property for Resale

STANDARD 6 - Financial Oversight

Fiscal Health

Financial Records

External Financial Evaluation

Written Internal Controls

Risk Management and Insurance

STANDARD 7 - Human Resources



Consultants or Contractors

Transition Planning



STANDARD 8 - Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects

Strategic Conservation Planning

Project Selection Criteria and Public Benefit

Project Evaluation

Project Planning

Partnership Documentation


STANDARD 9 - Ensuring Sound Transactions

Legal Review and Technical Expertise

Legal and Financial Advice

Environmental Due Diligence

Determining Property Boundaries

Conservation Easement Drafting

Title Investigation and Recording


Purchasing Land or Conservation Easements

Selling or Transferring Land or Conservation Easements


STANDARD 10 - Tax Benefits and Appraisals

Landowner Notification

Legal Requirements: Land Trust Responsibilities


Avoiding Fraudulent or Abusive Transactions


Standard 11 - Conservation Easement Stewardship

Funding Conservation Easement Stewardship

Baseline Documentation Report

Conservation Easement Monitoring

Landowner Relationships

Conservation Easement Enforcement

Approvals and Permitted Rights

Contingency Strategy



Partial or Full Extinguishment


STANDARD 12 - Fee Land Stewardship

Funding Land Stewardship

Land Management and Stewardship

Inspecting Land Trust Properties

Contingency Strategy


Clickable Guide - UOL POLICIES:
and Related Internal Documents

1. UOL – Mission Statement


Ethics Statement

1. UOL - 2023 Strategic Plan

1. UOL - 2023 Action Plan (not final)

1. UOL - Whistleblower Protection Policy

Reporting Required

What to Report

How to Report

Handling of Reports

Retaliation Prohibited

2. UOL – Compliance with Laws Policy

2. UOL – Recordkeeping Policy

The Permanent and Project Files

Organizational Documents to be kept in fire safe on location

Financial Records

Personnel Records

Fundraising Records

Administrative Records Management

Record Retention Schedule (and file location)


For Seven Years

For Five Years

For Three Years


2. UOL - Articles of Incorporation

2. UOL - Bylaws

2. UOL - IRS Determination Letter

3. UOL – Board Approval of Land Transactions Policy

Preliminary Sub Committee

Preliminary Board Approval

Project is further reviewed by the subcommittee as the transaction proceeds

Final Approval

3. UOL - Board Member Responsibilities

Legal and Fiduciary



Responsibilities of Individual Utah Open Lands Board Members

Legal Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

Duty of Care

Duty of Loyalty

Duty of Faithfulness

Responsibilities of Utah Open Lands’ Board of Directors

Time Expectation

3. UOL – Board Governance and Composition Policy

4. UOL – Conflicts of Interest Form

4. UOL – Conflicts of Interest Policy

Overall Policy

Fiduciary Responsibility

Avoiding Private Inurement and Excess Private Benefits

Assuring Board Independence

Conflicts of Interest: Definitions

Conflicts of Interest: Disclose. Discuss. Decide. Document

Related Parties


5. UOL - Fundraising Policy

6. UOL – Accounting and Financial Management Policies

Purpose of the Accounting and Financial Management Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of Presentation

Unrestricted net assets

Temporarily restricted net assets

Permanently restricted net assets

Accrual Accounting

Cash and Cash Equivalents



Furniture and Equipment

Fee Simple Land and Property

Conservation Easements

Income Tax Status

Donated Materials and Services

Contributions of Long-Lived Assets

Grants and Contributions Receivable

Restricted and Unrestricted Contributions

Service Revenues

Use of Estimates

Cost Allocation

Financial Management Policies

Bank Accounts

Line of Credit/Borrowing

General Ledger

Internal Controls

Financial Statements



6. UOL - Booking Conservation Easement Donations Policy

6. UOL – Financial and Asset Management Policy

6. UOL – Accountability to Donors and Gift Acceptance Policy

Unrestricted Funds

Restricted Funds

Temporarily Restricted Funds
Permanently Restricted Funds
Board Designated Funds

Acceptance of a Gift

Acceptance of a Restricted Gift

Types of Gifts

Operating Gift

Project Gift

Approval of Gifts

Dual Responsibility

Confidential Information

Gift Acknowledgement

Gift of Securities

Gifts of readily marketable securities may be accepted

Gifts of Personal Property

Gifts of Works of Art

Gifts of Furniture

Gifts of Automobiles and Other Vehicles

Gifts of Tools and Equipment

Gifts of Other Personal Property

Gifts of Real Property

Property Accepted

Bequests and Planned Gifts

7. UOL – Capacity Policy

8. UOL – Criteria for Accepting Conservation Easements


Risk Evaluation

8. UOL – Project Intake and Selection Procedures Policy

Project Selection Criteria

The Board’s Discretionary Role


9. UOL – Easement Drafting Policy

9. UOL – Easement Drafting Guidelines

What are Conservation Values?

Drafting Guidelines

Outdoor Recreation or Education

Relatively Natural habitat of fish, wildlife or plants or similar ecosystem

Open space, including farmland and forestland


Reserved Rights and Resource Management

Resource Management Topics

Building Rights


9. UOL – Legal Review Policy

Property inspection



Zoning and other government regulations

Estimated market value of the property

Finalizing the Transaction

Escrow and closings


9. UOL - Purchasing Land or Easements Policy

9. UOL – Recording Keeping Policy (included twice)


The Permanent and Project Files

Organizational Documents to be kept in fire safe on location

Financial Records

Personnel Records

Fundraising Records

Administrative Records Management

Record Retention Schedule (and file location)


For Seven Years

For Five Years

For Three Years


9. UOL - Selling Land or Easements Policy

9. UOL – Title Investigation and Subordination Policy

Major Title Consideration

Legal ownership of the Property

Liens, mortgages or other financial encumbrances


Rights-of-way or other easements

Title Searches and Title Insurance

Obtain Title Insurance for all purchases

Land or easements purchased

Land conveyed to another party by warranty deed

Land owned by UOL, whether purchased or donated.

Importance of site inspections

10. UOL – Tax Code Requirements and Appraisals Policy

Tax Code and IRS Requirements

Internal Revenue Code §170(h)

A qualified real property interest

Granted to a qualified organization

Granted exclusively for Conservation Purposes

11. UOL – Amendment Policy/Matrix

11. UOL – Baseline Documentation Policy

11. UOL – Easement Monitoring Policy

11. UOL – Funding Easement Stewardship Policy

11. UOL – Landowner Relationships Policy

11. UOL – Conservation Easement Violation/Enforcement Policy

Overall Objectives for Response and Enforcement

Violation Prevention Strategies

Conservation Easement Enforcement Procedure

Review Terms of the Easement

Documentation and Notification



Formulate Recommendations for Corrective action

Formulate TerraFirma assessment indicators

12, UOL – Fee Lands Policy: Funding Stewardship, Land Management & Monitoring

Funding Land Stewardship

Stewardship Principles

Land Management

Monitoring Land Trust Properties

Transferring Land

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