Standard 11: Conservation Agreement Stewardship
The land trust has a program of responsible stewardship for its conservation agreements.
A land trust that accepts and holds conservation agreements commits itself to their annual stewardship in perpetuity, to enforcement of their terms, and to building positive landowner and community relationships to support the land trust’s conservation programs and enforcement actions. A land trust that fails to do so may eventually lose its credibility, could cause its conservation agreement program to be invalidated, may erode public confidence in conservation agreements, and ultimately risk the protection of the land. Not all land trusts have the capacity to hold conservation agreements in perpetuity and may achieve their conservation goals through partnerships with other organizations, fee ownership or other conservation methods. These practices will help ensure that the important conservation values protected by conservation agreements are sustained over time.
- Society Act, RSBC 1996, c. 433, s. 27.
- Canada Corporations Act, RSC 1970, c. C-32.
- Income Tax Act, SC 1985, c. I, s. 149.1 (6.3);
see also Canada Revenue Agency policy interpretations at
- Expropriation Act, RSBC 1996, c. 125.
- Expropriation Act, SC 1996, c. E-21.
- Property Law Act, RSBC 1996, c. 377, s. 35.
- Land Title Act, RSBC 1996, c. 250, s. 218-223.
- Employment Standards Act, RSBC 1996, c. 113.
- Workers Compensation Act, RSBC 1996, c. 492.
- Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c. 210.
- Canada Pension Plan, c. C-8.
- Employment Insurance Act, SC 1996, c. 23.
- Society Act, RSBC 1996, c. 433.
- Canada Corporations Act, RSC 1970, c. C-32.
B. Baseline Documentation Report
For every conservation agreement, the land trust has a baseline documentation report (that includes a baseline map and photographs) prepared prior to closing and signed by the landowner at closing. Both the landowner and the land trust should hold at least one original copy. The report documents the important conservation values protected by the conservation agreement and the relevant conditions of the property as necessary to monitor and enforce the conservation agreement. In the event that seasonal conditions prevent the completion of a full baseline documentation report by closing, the baseline documentation report may include an interim baseline documentation report and an acknowledgement it will be replaced by a full report. This interim report and acknowledgement will be signed by the landowner at closing.
Baseline documentation reports are critical for establishing the condition of the property at the time the conservation agreement is transferred, and are the basis of future monitoring and enforcement. In addition, for conservation agreements for which a federal tax deduction is granted under the Ecological Gifts Program, the compilations of some baseline documentation are required at the time of closing. While it is sometimes difficult for land trusts to prioritize or gather all the data required, baseline reports should be completed prior to closing, and signed by the landowner and the land trust at closing. In the event of poor seasonal conditions for documenting the important conservation values of the property, an interim baseline report with an acknowledgement that the interim report will be replaced by a full baseline documentation report can be signed by both parties at closing and recorded/registered where possible. The interim report can include all of the data available by the date of closing and should indicate when the final report will be completed. The use of interim reports and acknowledgements of full reports with the land trust and landowner’s signature has proven effective in regions of the country where ground conditions prevent the completion of the full baseline documentation report at closing. In the past, land trusts may have accepted conservation agreements without a baseline documentation report. In these cases, the land trust should have a plan for completing documentation for all conservation agreements. Where possible, the land trust may wish to involve the landowner in the collection of baseline information as a means of establishing a working relationship between the two parties. Both the landowner and the land trust should have a copy of the baseline documentation report with the land trust having two copies; one for safekeeping and the other for monitors to use in the field.
BC Assessment Questions
- Is a Baseline Summary prepared for registration with the BC Land Titles office that is less than 10 pages and includes only black and white photos? (this is a request by the BC Land Titles office)?
CLTA Assessment Questions
- Does the land trust have a baseline documentation report for every conservation agreement it holds?
- If not, for how many conservation agreements does the land trust have complete documentation?
- If not, does the land trust have a plan for completing the baseline for those conservation agreements without documentation?
- The land trust’s baseline documentation reports (check all that apply):
- Include a baseline map and photographs
- Document the important conservation values protected by the conservation agreement
- Document the relevant conditions of the property as necessary to monitor and enforce the conservation agreement
- Are prepared prior to closing
Are signed by the landowner at closing
Resources: Example Policies & Template Documents
- Using a Compass NRCAN
- Beyond Baseline Making a Case for Cons Dunster
- TLC Baseline Marzano
- SSIC Draft Baseline Inventory Protocol
- BC GOV Field Guide Book Northern Rockies PG Forest Region
- LTABC 2005 Seminar Series Baseline Workshop
- BC GOV Field Guide Book Southwest PG Forest Region
- NCC HAT Printable Baseline Inventory Dataforms
- ITF NAPTEP Baseline Report Standard and Sample Baseline Repo
- NCC HAT 2003 Baseline Inventory Protocol
- Baseline Summaries for Land Titles Office
- NCC Baseline Baikie Island Reserve
- ALTS Baseline Maclure
- Alberta Lentic Survey Users Manual
- Alberta Large River Form
- Baseline Map Paradise Valley
- Alberta Lentic Survey Form
- Range Health Indicators
- BC GOV Field Guide Book Southeast PG Forest Region
- Riparian Health Assessment
- TEM VRI Inventory Mapping Standards
- BC GOV Field Guide Book Vancouver Forest Region
- BC GOV Field Guide Book Kamloops Forest Region
- BC GOV Field Guide Book Prince Rupert Forest Region
- SSIC Baseline Documentation Report Taylor
- TLC Baseline LTO Version
- Baseline Info Forms-Stewardhsip Series
- BC GOV Field Guide Book North Central NI Forest Region
- Alberta Large River Users Manual
- ITF NAPTEP Baseline Guidelines
- Alberta Lotic Survey Users Manual
- TLC LTO Baseline Template and Info
- Cows and Fish Health
- Basics for Botanical inventory article
- BC GOV Field Guide Book Nelson Forest Region
- BC GOV Wetlands of BC A Guide to Identification
- Alberta Lotic Survey Form