Diane Arthur  2009-04-30_1
“In southern Ontario, wild land is disappearing fast. When it is developed, it’s gone for good. What the Land Conservancy is doing is a marvellous idea.”

Dr. Diane Arthur, donor of the 16-hectare Arthur Nature Reserve

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Ways to protect my land

 

The chair of our Land Acquisition Committee would be pleased to answer your questions about the Land Conservancy’s priority areas for acquisitions and how our Land Acquisition Policy may apply to your property. You will always need to get independent legal and financial advice about any property transfer.

Landowner opportunities

Landowners often ask us “how can we protect the land we love in the future?” They want the wild lands that they have enjoyed over the years to continue to be a place for nature. They want to be reassured that their land will not be clearcut or subdivided for cottages, and that the animals and plants that have given them so much pleasure will continue to thrive on the land for generations to come.

Landowners have many options. Choosing the best one depends on each person’s personal and financial situation and vision for the future.

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Conservation easements

The landowner will receive a charitable receipt for the appraised value of lost development and resource extraction opportunities on the property.

With a conservation easement agreement in place, the landowner continues to own the land and can pass it on to heirs or sell it. However, the restrictions remain in force forever.

See also: Ontario Nature’s Ways to Conserve Land

EcoGifts

Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts program provides tax advantages to land and conservation easement donors when the land qualifies as an EcoGift. This includes a certified statement of fair market value, avoidance of capital gains with respect to the transferred property, and the ability to spread the charitable receipt over 10 years. We generally prepare EcoGift applications for interested donors.

Land transaction basics

Acquisition Policy The Land Acquisition Committee assesses the property according to our Land Acquisition Policy and makes a recommendation to the Board.

Appraisal requirement For any acquisition, a certified property appraiser must complete an appraisal to determine the fair market value of the property. The Land Conservancy generally hires the appraiser when it has agreed to a property acquisition.

A survey A property survey shows the property boundaries and is a required element of a land transaction with the Land Conservancy.

Timing A donation of land, in fee simple, with a usable survey and without an EcoGift application is a straightforward process. The EcoGift application adds time as it requires a Baseline Documentation Report setting out the current state of the property and identifying plant and animal species found there. Once Environment Canada accepts an application in principle, the next steo is an appraisal according to EcoGift requirements. The appraisal is submitted to Environment Canada and the application goes through a final approval process.

Habitat for wildlife


There are a number of strategies that you can follow to protect nature on your land.

For information about naturalized shorelines, Watersheds Canada may be of help.

For information about developing a property stewardship plan and a managed forest plan, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has several guidebooks.

Conservation Ontario has information about aquatic species at risk.

Ontario Nature has a reptiles at risk project.

The Kingston Field Naturalists has excellent local birding records and information materials about butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and damselflies.