Standard 12: Land Stewardship
The land trust has a program of responsible stewardship for the land it holds other than through a conservation agreement for conservation purposes.
Many land trusts hold land other than through conservation agreement for a variety of conservation purposes, and must take care of these properties. Failure to manage and monitor the property could lead to loss of or damage to the property’s conservation values, injury to visitors, or even loss of the property itself. A land trust that does not care for its holdings will lose credibility. A land trust should also make contingency provisions for its land in the event it can no longer fulfill its stewardship obligations.
- Canada Revenue Agency policy interpretation of Income Tax Act, SC 1985, c. I; see
- 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.
- Taxation (Rural Area) Act, RSBC 1996, c. 447.
- School Act, RSBC 1996, c. 412.
- Police Act, RSBC 1996, c. 367.
- Property Transfer Tax Act, RSBC 1996, c. 378.
- Social Service Tax Act, RSBC 1996, c. 431.
D. Monitoring Land Trust Properties
The land trust regularly monitors its properties and property boundaries for potential management problems such as trespass, misuse or overuse, vandalism or safety hazards or other activities as listed in the management plan and takes actions to rectify such problems. The land trust should mark the property boundaries or have capacity to establish the boundaries in the event of encroachments. Land trusts should record monitoring information and quickly respond to any problems. Monitoring of Ecological Gifts will include confirmation that the present use of the property is consistent with that at the time of the donation and monitoring documentation relating to Ecological Gifts will be made available to Environment Canada upon request.
A land trust that holds property also takes on a responsibility to the public and has certain legal liabilities for injuries that occur on the land. Thus, at a minimum, a land trust needs to monitor each property to ensure it is not damaged by malicious or negligent acts, that unauthorized uses or encroachments are not detrimentally affecting the property and that people are not endangered by safety hazards and that continuous encroachment or unauthorized use do not cause the land trust to lose the property or parts of it or conservation values altogether. Such problems usually can be prevented if the land trust marks and maintains its boundaries and regularly monitors its properties. Land donated under the Ecological Gifts Program must be monitored to ensure that the land use of the property is consistent with the original donation. Monitoring documentation for Ecological Gifts should be made available to Environment Canada upon request. (See 11.C)
Monitoring may also be done for other reasons including; tracking the changes on a property, tracking the health of a particular species or its habitat, or tracking the response to a management measure. A land trust that holds property will want to ensure that the values for which the property was acquired are maintained and that any impacts to the property are not negatively affecting those values. It also has the responsibility to ensure that the public assumes no negative experiences.
CLTA Assessment Questions
- How often does the land trust inspect its fee-owned properties?
- Describe the land trust’s policies or procedures for identifying and addressing management risks on its properties: