Frequently Asked Questions
What is a land trust?

What is a land trust?

Land trusts, or land conservancies, are charitable organizations which are legally empowered to protect lands worthy of long-term conservation.  Land trusts can accept donations and bequests of land, and in some cases, may purchase land.  We can also enter into conservation easement agreements with landowners.  Through these measures, land is permanently protected to preserve its conservation values.

Are land trusts government agencies?

Are land trusts government agencies?

No, they are independent, non-profit, charitable organizations that work with private landowners who are interested in protecting nature. There are no political appointments to the board and the land trust operates at arm’s length with all levels of government or government agencies.  

Where do you get your money?

Where do you get your money?

MWLT is supported with memberships and donations from generous community members in the area we serve.  As a charitable organization, we may also apply for grants for special projects.

What area do you cover?

What area do you cover?

MWLT covers the area within the Magnetawan River Watershed.

How do you get your properties?

How do you get your properties?

Sometimes generous citizens will donate lands to us because they wish to see conservation values protected for future generations to enjoy. Sometimes a land trust is enabled to purchase lands important to the community using funds donated by residents, corporations, foundations, and other fundraising initiatives. 

What is a conservation easement agreement?

What is a conservation easement agreement?

A conservation easement agreement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust, which is placed on the property title in perpetuity.  The landowner continues to own and may live on the land, and the property can be sold or passed on to future generations. Future development of the land is restricted by the covenants described within the agreement. Click here to find out more about conservation easement agreements.

What do you do with protected properties?

What do you do with protected properties?

MWLT conducts the following activities on its protected properties:

  • species inventories

  • nature restoration activities

  • invasive species removal

  • research

  • engagement of volunteers to assist with activities

  • annual monitoring of covenants on conservation easements

  • nature education activities

Do you have staff?

Do you have staff?

We have two part-time employees, and we may hire contractors from time to time as funding permits. We are fortunate to have the help of many volunteers who assist in a variety of ways.

Is your board compensated financially?

Is your board compensated financially?

No, the MWLT board is a volunteer working board.

Do you support other local environmental causes?

Do you support other local environmental causes?

MWLT has close relationships with other environmental groups; however, as a charitable organization, we must avoid lobbying and other political activities. Instead, we prefer to use our position in the community as an advisor, educator, and advocate for nature protection.

What do you do with the money?

What do you do with the money?

Some of the background work required to operate a land trust involves:

  • comprehensive ecological assessment of each property of interest

  • preparation of extensive documentation and maps which will hold up legally forever

  • ongoing expenses including legal fees, appraisal costs, property taxes and insurance

  • legislated reporting to the Canada Revenue Agency and Industry Canada

  • donor database management, issuance of charitable receipts, and liaison with members

  • preparation of publicity materials and website maintenance

  • ongoing property monitoring and stewardship

  • financial management and the required cost of annual financial reviews

  • event planning and program management

  • grant writing and reporting

  • application to government tax incentive programs

  • publication of news and events to mailing list and local newspapers