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April 04, 2007

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Laura

Well, best of luck with it. I'll look forward to updates in the future.

GreenmanTim

Laura, it gives me pleasure to know that my posts about Windrock have had that effect on you. It is, for us, the closest to heaven we expect to find on Earth.

Our family would be in a very difficult place without the advice of a conservation professional looking out for its interests. Fortunately, I possess those skills and can offer them as part of my contribution to saving our land. Many families reach the crisis point without having fully investigated the range of options that might exist for retaining their land and transferring it intact to subsequent generations. Most of the professional advice customarily available to them is from a attorney, financial advisor, or realtor. These are all important sources of information, but they understand the development equity in the land far better than its conservation value.

Conservation transactions can often offer benefits that compare favorably with some development scenarios, and additional ones (tax advantages, life tenancy, retained ownership) that sale of land for development does not provide.

Because I have worked for two very large conservation organizations (TNC and TPL) and also worked for private landowners negotiating with conservation groups, I find myself in a unique position to help my extended family evaluate its options and understand what to expect from its own conservation negotiation. There are challenges unique to my situation, too, because my role within the family is changing as I step forward with these skills and it is not always easy for them or for me to make that adjustment. You can fire a hired professional if you are not satisfied with the services provided, but I am family, an invested party to the negotiations, and working for free and that can get complicated. There is a strong sense of urgency and a high level of uncertainty, and feelings can get hurt quite unintentionally in the process. It requires tact and patience to help everyone process the information we have, adjust our expectations, and move forward toward shared goals. That is very hard but very worth the effort.

Laura

I don't understand all the technicalities Tim, but hope that you and your extended family will find a way to save the place that will preserve memories as well as the physical space.

I've so enjoyed the few times that you've written about Windrock and feel sort of enchanted with this place I've never seen.

I wonder what you'd be facing if you didn't have the knowledge that you do? What would happen to this special place?

Terry Cowgill

Tim,

Thanks for that personal perspective on conservation easements. It must feel strange to be on the other side of the fence. Sort of like when I am interviewed by a reporter.

I sailed across that bay once. In high school, I spent a summer as a stagehand at a dinner theatre in Buzzard's Bay. A friend of mine had a family place in Marion. I liked being slightly "Off-Cape," as the expression goes.

Good luck in preserving that lovely spot.

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