What Are Land Trusts?


Land trusts or land conservation societies are charitable organizations. Their purpose is to conserve specific types of land.

For instance, two well-known national land trusts have different mandates — the Nature Conservancy Canada is focused on land with high scientific value while Ducks Unlimited Canada is focused on wetlands and other habitat areas.

Other Alberta land trusts concentrate on open spaces, watersheds, natural landscapes, native prairie grasslands, archaeological sites, historical places, recreational lands or working landscapes such as ranch and farm land.

A land trust society's priorities — like Legacy's — are established when it is incorporated. It's difficult for any one organization to look after the needs of land conservation on a micro-scale. The lands in and around our community that locals may see as worth conserving might be quite different than the lands that other land trusts have the ability and mandate on which to focus.

Many individuals in this community do try to protect and conserve lands that are important to them, whether for wildlife habitats, archeological sites or agriculture. But safeguarding such lands is difficult and expensive for an individual to do.

A land trust organization has fundraising capabilities, expertise and legislated rights that may make conservation efforts easier than they are for individuals. Also, it is important to know that a land trust is not a government agency. Land trusts do, however, often work in conjunction with governments as well as with communities and individuals to hold and steward interests in land.

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