Debra Wolf Goldstein, Esq.

Phone: 215-247-3105

Fax: 215-247-0829

Conservation Matters is a Philadelphia-based firm that provides legal and consulting services to land trusts, environmental organizations, landowners, and government agencies. Founder Debra Wolf Goldstein, Esq., has three decades of experience as a lawyer and consultant specializing in land use and conservation law.

Debra crafts high quality, cost-effective solutions, including:

  • Negotiating and drafting conservation easements, trail easements and agreements of sale;
  • Resolving easement violations;
  • Consulting on nonprofit organizational issues;
  • Preparing strategic plans and feasibility studies; and
  • Helping to secure funding for conservation projects.

Selected Projects

  • Spearheaded complex conservation easement project for major foundation, protecting one of the largest remaining estate properties in Chester County by preserving scenic views from public roads and allowing 3 delineated new homesites vs. the hundreds of houses that could have been built by right. Seller received substantial grant funding from township and county sources, as well as future proceeds from sale of the conserved large lots.
  • Guided land trust through strategic planning and capacity-building process, allowing expansion of its geographic service area to protect hundreds of additional acres of forest and farmland.
  • Handled dozens of conservation easement, trail easement, and fee acquisition transactions for major regional conservancy. Created new preserves, eliminated inholdings in existing properties, added acreage to state parks, and extended publicly accessible trails throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Developed first watershed protection and implementation plan for prominent park advocacy group, enabling it to prioritize land protection and funding opportunities.
  • Drafted numerous guides and FAQs for statewide conservation organization to help practitioners and government agencies understand complex legal and tax issues; co-authored widely-used manual detailing how the Americans with Disabilities Act impacts park and trail systems; analyze pending and proposed environmental legislation.
  • Worked with state park friends group to develop detailed vision plan for restoration and maintenance of historic and natural resources.
  • Guided conservancy through national accreditation process, upgrading governance policies and practices.
  • Prepared strategic plan for urban CSA initiative and business plan for urban park system.
  • Co-created and taught pilot Standards & Practices courses for the national Land Trust Alliance.