Monthly Archives: September 2012

New name, offices and website – oh my!

Decisions Decisions is now Solid Ground Consulting

Solid Ground Consulting has been the name we’ve long used for our national conservation team and land trust practice area. We’ve always received great response to it. As we started to rethink our firm’s identity, it just felt right to call the whole of our business “Solid Ground.” So we bid a warm farewell to our business name of many years, Decisions Decisions, and embrace our new identity: Solid Ground Consulting.

We’ve retooled, redesigned and reconfigured. With our new identity comes a deepened commitment to organizations that operate with a triple bottom line – people and profit and planet. And you may notice our new logo and website (yes, you’re on it now!).

If that weren’t enough, after Oct. 6, 2012 we’ll be in new offices. We outgrew our old space, so you’ll find us now on the Fourth Floor of the historic Weatherly Building at 516 SE Morrison, Portland, Ore. Stop by and check out our great downtown views. And yes, Shayna, the Office Dog, will still be there to greet you. Some things you just don’t change.

Solid Ground team active at Rally 2012

Big topics: easement revitalization and mergers

Solid Ground team members are presenting several interactive sessions at Rally 2012, the National Land Conservation Conference in Salt Lake City Sept. 29-Oct. 2. Attendees will learn the latest on how to deal with problem easements during our 90-minute workshop, “Why Wait for a Problem to Show Up? Easement Revitalization 101.” We go deeper into the issues during our half-day seminar on the Easement Revitalization Initiative. And we’ll be providing resources on collaborations and mergers in the session, “The M-word: Merger.”

Conference goers will also find us hanging at Table 19 in the Exhibitor Hall or wandering around with a banjo looking for a jam session. (Well, one of us will have a banjo.)

Strategies for easement revitalization

‘Easement Revitalization Guidebook’ now available

With the sponsorship of the Open Space Institute, Solid Ground Consulting has researched, developed and tested strategies and tools that land trusts can use to “revitalize” their easements and make them suitable for prime time.

We’re happy to report the “Easement Revitalization Guidebook” is now available. Get in touch and we’ll make sure you get a copy.

Problem easements – those with questionable conservation value, vague or conflicting language in the easement document, or transactional problems – lurk in the portfolios of nearly all land trusts. They’re difficult to monitor and enforce, and sometimes the conservation benefit doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Many groups have chosen to ignore potential problems posed by these easements until some event – such as a high-profile violation, a proposed merger with another land trust or an accreditation application – brings them to the fore. Then the land trust is forced to decide what to do with them.

How land trusts handle early cases of problem easements may set precedents that ripple through all of the land trusts in the country. If the conservation community allows these easements to be inappropriately extinguished or ignored, they risk losing the confidence of the general public, legislators and the IRS. On the other hand, trying to steward bad easements may drain resources without serving any significant conservation value.

The “Easement Revitalization Guidebook” helps land trusts successfully manage problem easements.