Managing Complex Interests

In October of 2020, Landscape introduced the ability to track multiple interests on the same Property. 

While a Property record should still be used to record the result of one acquired conservation property, the interests conveyed in that document may be more complex than simply 'Fee' or 'Easement'.  It may, for example, record the holding of mineral rights only on one portion while acquiring another portion in Fee.  Furthermore, those interests may change in size over time. By managing the separate interests at the Parcel level, Landscape can manage these complex properties and still make it possible to report out totals of properties and acreages that you may need.

It is important to note that this feature should only be used if the interest conveyed matches this definition.  If you'd like to convey the details of a lengthy transaction which involved first an easement and then a fee interest, then it's very likely you want to use multiple Property records rather than multiple parcels.  See this article for more details on managing complex transactions.


The Property Details Page



(1) On Properties with multiple interests, the interest is listed here but is not editable from this drop down list.  You will need to update the interests at the parcel level.

(2) Displayed in parentheses after "Parcels & People" are the total current size of the property and the total size you want to "count" toward your conservation success. These totals will be described more below.


The Parcel Editor View

When a Property has multiple Parcels, the Parcel editor has a few more fields than are available in a single-Parcel Property.


(1) Parcels have access to a 'Legal Interest' field, where you can define the interest on that specific Parcel.

(2) Parcel is Countable can be set to 'Yes' if you want the size to count towards your organizations total conservation success count, or 'No' if not.  This field's purpose is to count towards success metrics, so most organizations say 'we protected x acres overall' in spite of perhaps not holding a certain portion anymore.

(3) Contributes to Property Acres can be set to 'Yes' if you want the acreage to count towards the total size of the Property, or 'No' if not. 


An example of a Parcel where these would both be set to 'No' would be if you acquired a 5 acre easement overlaid on top of a 20 acre fee holding and you don't want the total size for the Property to be 25 acres. In that case, you would set the easement parcel as 'Parcel is Countable' = 'No' and 'Size Contributes to Property Size' = 'No'.

A different complex example may be an acquisition of one Fee Parcel and one Easement Parcel that don't overlap at all. Perhaps the Fee Parcel is not intended to be kept for conservation, but you still want to know that the Property acquired was the sum of the Fee Parcel and the Easement Parcel. In that case, the Fee Parcel would be set to 'Parcel is Countable' = 'No', because you don't count it as conservation, and 'Contributes to Property Acres' = 'Yes'.


Parcels don't need to be different interests to take advantage of counting or not counting their sizes in your totals. As long as you divide up your Property into the appropriately sized Parcels, you can choose to count or not count them as you want.


'Current Size' vs. 'Countable Size' vs. 'Original Size'

When creating Property views and reports you have access to several size fields. Each field is calculating the total property size based on a different set of criteria.  'Current Size' is the number of acres where 'Contributes to Property Acres' = 'Yes' and 'Status' = 'Current'. 'Countable Size' is the number of acres where 'Parcel is Countable' = 'Yes' (Status can be 'Current' or 'Disposed').  'Original Size' is the 'Acquired Acres' field (only available to Properties which do not have a status of 'Active' or 'Inactive').


When to use multiple parcels with multiple interests, and when to use multiple Properties instead.

A good general rule is to use one Property record for each physical conveyance document. If you are doing a complex acquisition that involves multiple deeds and/or easements, you probably want separate Property records in Landscape for each document. But, if a single document is conveying multiple legal interests, then consider using a single Property record and multiple Parcels.  If you want to indicate that multiple properties are part of the same unit from within a property record, you can use the 'Property Group' field.


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