The Manor Conservancy is an Internal Revenue Service qualified land trust as
opposed to an advocacy organization. Our focus is permanent preservation of land through perpetual easements and stewardship of the land that under easements held in which TMC has an interest. Although we do become involved in land use planning and zoning issues that have a wide impact on properties under easement, we cannot and do not represent individual landowners in issues that might affect their land unless it is under easement . In such a case, our interest is protecting the sanctity of the easement. We generally suggest that the landowner look elsewhere to deal with an issue not directly related to the easement. In fact, in some cases our protection of the easement may be in conflict with the landowner’s desires.
The pipeline expansion is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission, with State and County input. It was approved by the Commission.
Columbia Gas has the right of condemnation and landowners are compensated for any diminishment in fair market value. Unless TMC holds an easement on an
impacted property, it has no standing to object.
Different landowners have different concerns. Location is a problem for some. Yet
if we became involved in a location dispute, we may be doing a disservice to the
owner of the land over which an alternative route would be proposed. The
inconvenience during construction is a problem for some. Compensation is an
issue for some. Some have no objection and settle on a price they are willing to
accept for the additional pipeline easement. These issues are unique to the
individual landowners unless the property involved is subject to an easement held by TMC. In those cases, The Manor Conservancy becomes involved, reviews the proposals, and deals with Columbia.
Any landowner interested in joining a group opposing the pipeline should contact
Theaux Le Gardeur at Backwater Angler in Hereford. Theaux runs the Gunpowder
River Keeper organization (http://www.gunpowderriverkeeper.org). Virtually all
of the property in our area over which the pipeline runs is in the Gunpowder
Watershed. Theaux has a legal team, and is looking for support.
The Manor Conservancy has received comments criticizing its lack of opposition.
We welcome the criticism, because it reminds us of the need to explain our role
and avoid future misunderstandings.