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What Is A Land Trust?

Land trusts or land conservation societies are non-profit charitable organizations. Their purpose is to conserve specific types of land. Although a land trust is not a government agency, it often works with governments as well as with communities and individuals to hold and steward the land. 

It's difficult for one organization to look after the needs of land conservation on a micro-scale. The lands in and around our community that you may see as worth conserving might be quite different from lands that other trusts focus on.

A land trust's priorities are established when it is incorporated. For instance, two well-known national land trusts have different mandates — the Nature Conservancy of 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.

Many individuals in our community try to protect and conserve lands that are important to them. But safeguarding such lands is difficult and expensive for most individuals to do. By comparison, land trusts have fundraising capabilities, expertise and legal rights that may make conservation efforts easier to do than for individuals. 

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