Landowner Estate Planning Webinar Resources

On April 14th, 2020 North County Land Trust hosted our first Landowner Workshop Webinar on the Zoom platform.  Speakers included Jassy Bratko, Director of Land Protection at NCLT, Michael Downey, DCR Forester, and George Dresser, attorney at Dresser & McGourthy, LLP.

If you were unable to join us or would like to view the webinar again, please contact Jassy Bratko for a video link at 

Presenter Bios

 Jassy Bratko

Jassy is the Director of Land Protection at North County Land Trust.  She manages the land protection program for NCLT and supervises the stewardship for the over 500 acres of conservation land owned by the trust. Jassy had previously served with distinction as an NCLT Director, chairing the Board’s Land Committee, from 2012 till 2016, when she stepped down to enter into her current position. She was Chair of the Hubbardston Open Space and Recreation Committee for 19 years, overseeing two land protection projects and the stewardship of town conservation land. She also chaired the Town’s Community Preservation Committee. She has a BSc in Geography from Worcester State College.

Michael Downey

Michael is a Service Forester and Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry (DCR).  He works with landowners and municipalities throughout the  commonwealth to sustainably  manage their woods.  Before coming back to Massachusetts in 2005, he previously worked as a Service Forester for the Kentucky Division of Forestry.  Mike holds a BS in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a BA in History from Westfield State College.​

George Dresser

George focuses his practice on land conservation and provides general counsel to a number of land trusts handling land conservation transactions of all kinds. He has extensive experience in drafting conservation restrictions and advises landowners with respect to the federal income tax issues related to donations and bargain sales of land and conservation restrictions. George’s practice also includes estate planning and he has a particular interest in helping landowners devise tax-efficient ways of transferring their land into the next generation.  He is one of the founders of the White Oak Land Conservation Society, Inc., based in Holden, and the Greater Worcester Land Trust, Inc., based in Worcester.

Resource materials from our presenters can be found below:

Jassy’s Presentation – This includes the NCLT bio, our co-sponsor organizations, Conservation 101 info as well as presenter contact information for all speakers.

Michael’s Presentation – This includes information about Chapter 61. Supplementary resource documents to go with this presentation are below on this page.

George’s Presentation – Slides regarding estate planning including tax brackets for estates.

General Landowner Resources

Protecting Your Legacy – A Massachusetts landowner’s guide to conservation-based estate planning. – Clearinghouse website developed to help landowners at critical decision making times. Features informative materials about managing and making decisions about your land as well as a map to locate local professionals who can assist in making decisions about your land.

Chapter 61

DLS City and Town Publication page – Department of Local Services City and Town Guides which addresses matters of interest to local officials.

Solar on Classified Land (July 6, 2017 City and Town) Department of Local Services bulletin featuring questions relating to the impact of
installing solar or wind farms on land classified under Chapters 61 (Forest Land), 61A (Farm Land) or 61B (Recreational Land).

DLS: Tax Administration on Classified Lands (2018 Workshop) – Department of Local Services workshop booklet for session titled: Classified Forest, Farm and Recreational Lands and Other Tax Administration Issues

Chapter Lands FAQs (March 2019) – FAQs on Classified Forest, Agricultural/Horticultural and Recreational Land G.L. c. 61, 61A and 61B

Chapter Lands FAQs (October 2019) – FAQs on Classified Forest, Agricultural/Horticultural and Recreational Land G.L. c. 61, 61A and 61B

Chapter Lands FAQs (July 2018) – FAQs on Classified Forest, Agricultural/Horticultural and Recreational Land G.L. c. 61, 61A and 61B

The New Massachusetts Forest Taxation Law – Book for those with interest in the history of forest taxation law