Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Land Conservancy, and what does a Land Conservancy do ?
- A Land Conservancy is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to the long-term protection of natural and/or cultural heritage. A land trust may own land itself, or it may enter into conservation covenants with property owners to protect or restore natural or heritage features on the owner's land. Land trusts also engage in stewardship, restoration and management of lands.
- The words "land trust" and "conservancy" are often used interchangeably.
- Land trusts are independent non-government organizations; however they frequently work in partnership with governments, other organizations, foundations, and businesses in achieving shared conservation goals.
Why do we need a Land Trust in Huronia?
- Community Land Trusts or Conservancies hold, restore and manage lands of particular importance to the community they serve. Within Huronia, there are individual landowners and organizations who want their land protected permanently. Some landowners wish to access the capital gains and tax reduction benefits of certain government programs such as the Federal Eco-Gifts Program and need a "Qualified Donee" to accept the land. Much of Huronia has no Conservation Authority to accept such lands, and the existing non-governmental organizations in the region are not accepting new lands. The Huronia Land Conservancy will fill this gap and provide additional community benefits such as water, cultural and natural area protection, educational opportunities, research and recreation.
Where will the land trust work?
- We will focus our efforts in the northern portion of Simcoe County, including the municipalities of Midland, Penetanguishene, Elmvale , Tiny, Tay, and parts of Clearwater and Oro-Medonte.
- We work where we are welcome, in cooperation with landowners.
Are Land Trusts Government Agencies?
- No. Land Trusts or Conservancies are independent charitable organizations with no government appointments or control other than compliance with the requirements of the Charities Act, and the Corporations Act.
- Land Trusts may work cooperatively with government agencies or charitable foundations by partnering to acquire or manage land, researching open space needs and priorities or assisting in the development of community open space plans.
How will the land trust finance your work – where does the money come from?
- As a charity, HLC will not be subject to income taxes
- Most lands secured will qualify under the Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program (CLTIP) and consequently will be exempt from municipal taxes.
- Because the lands secured by HLC will already be subject to agricultural or wetland reductions in assessment, and the percentage HLC lands in any municipality will be so small, the impact of the land trust exemption has been considered negligible.
- Municipal officials wishing more information may find it useful to discuss the impact of the Couchiching Conservancy with Oro-Medonte, or the Georgian Bay Land Trust with the Township of Georgian Bay for reference.
Who is behind this new organization?
- HLC is a local, community based organization, with membership and an elected Board of Directors with property ownership or other family ties to the northern portion of Simcoe County.
- A list of founding members and officers is available on request