Recognizing that American-owned lands are key conservation properties in many of Ontario’s most ecologically significant and threatened landscapes, the Ontario Trillium Foundation is funding a three-year partnership between the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts. With that support our two organizations launched the Cross-border Conservation Training Program (CCTP) early in 2016.
Our goal is to increase the collective capacity of Ontario conservation organizations to be successful at “cross-border conservation” – to secure high-priority conservation properties owned wholly or partly by US taxpayers – and to bring more funding to support such work. CCTP will offer training opportunities for land trusts and government agencies in the form of workshops and one-on-one mentoring. CCTP also has funds for mapping, communications resources, and a small grants program to assist OLTA members with the costs of initiating cross-border conservation gifts. Other priority activities include outreach to the attorneys, accountant and estate planners who advise Americans with Canadian property. It is critical that they are aware of the financial incentives available to conservation-oriented landowners, and how those incentives interact with succession planning.
Rainy Lake Conservancy, Georgian Bay Land Trust, Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy, Magnetawan Watershed Land Trust and the Bruce Trail Conservancy have all partnered with AF to secure one or more of these cross-border conservation gifts. In Ontario, 12 cross-border gifts combine to protect over 800 acres since 2011. US income tax benefits made these gifts financially feasible for the owners, many of whom have passed their Canadian properties down through generations. The total appraised value of these gifts is over $6 million USD.
Conservation organizations can help develop the program by completing this short, online survey.
Professional advisors and conservationists can gain more information and become involved by contacting: