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.
D. Landowner Relationships
The land trust maintains regular contact with owners of properties with conservation agreements. When possible, it offers landowners information on property management and/or referrals to resource managers. The land trust enlists a contact staff or volunteer assigned to respond to landowner requests or inquiries. These staff or volunteers will be trained on how to work with landowners. The land trust strives to build promptly a positive working relationship with new owners of properties with conservation agreements and informs them about the conservation agreements existence and restrictions and the land trust’s stewardship policies and procedures. The land trust establishes and implements systems to track changes in land ownership. Land trusts should offer the new landowners a copy of the conservation agreement and baseline documentation as well as any information about its work in general.
Landowner contact has always been a part of the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices, but land trusts are increasingly realizing that developing strong relationships with landowners is the best way to help provide for good stewardship of the land and avoid potential conservation agreement conflicts. This practice is expanded to address the need to build relationships with existing and new owners of lands with conservation agreements and the managers of such land. Maintaining contact with landowners, who have granted you conservation agreements, is as important as or more important than establishing relationships with new landowners. Landowner relationships should ideally extend beyond once-a-year contact during a monitoring visit, and may include newsletters and updates, special workshops or other events. Land trusts may refer landowners to individuals who can help with the property’s natural resource management. Every land trust should have a person (staff or volunteer) assigned to respond to landowner requests or inquiries about their conservation agreements. These staff or volunteers should also be trained on how to work with landowners.
Land trusts should have processes and practices in place that address changes in ownership. Conservation agreements should require the landowner to notify the land trust of an impending sale or transfer of property. Land trusts should also ensure that they educate new landowners of the terms of the conservation agreement. New owners should also be provided with a copy of the conservation agreement, baseline documentation report and all monitoring reports.
BC Assessment Questions
- Does the land trust give or ensure they receive copies of the covenant and baseline reports to new owners?
CLTA Assessment Questions
- How often each year does the land trust contact conservation agreement landowners?
- Does the land trust track changes in land ownership and have an established process in place to explain its conservation agreements and monitoring responsibilties to new owners of conservation agreement-protected land?