Standards & Practices

Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices

The Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices are guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, which is run legally, ethically, and in the public interest and conducts a sound program of land transactions and stewardship. In 2005, the Ontario Land Trust Alliance worked with advisors across the country and the newly forming Canadian Land Trust Alliance to revise the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices based on the Standards and Practices of the Land Trust Alliance of the United States. The newly launched Assessing Your Organization Program, deriving objective from the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices, show a land trust’s ability to operate in an ethical, legal and technically sound manner and ensure the long-term protection of land in the public interest.

Adoption Requirements

Ontario Land Trust Alliance currently requires all of its Land Trust Members to adopt the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices.

Steps To Adopt the 2005 Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices

  1. Carefully read the 2005 Standards and Practices. Download a copy – see below.
  2. Conduct a board meeting to debate and then sign a board resolution stating adoption.
  3. Mail or fax the signed board resolution to:
Ontario Land Trust Alliance
10 Adelaide Street East, Suite 401
Toronto, Ontario M5C 1J3
T 416-588-6582
F 416-588-6588

Supporting Documents

Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices (PDF 177KB)

Sample Board Adoption Resolution (Word doc)

Background to the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices (PDF 262 KB)

 

Part I: Organizational Strength

Standard 1: Mission
The land trust has a clear mission that serves a public interest, and all programs support that mission.

Standard 2: Compliance with Laws
The land trust fulfills its legal requirements as a nonprofit tax-exempt organization and complies with all laws.

Standard 3: Board Accountability
The land trust board acts ethically in conducting the affairs of the organization and carries out the board’s legal and financial responsibilities as required by law.

Standard 4: Conflicts of Interest
The land trust has policies and procedures to avoid or manage real or perceived conflicts of interest.

Standard 5: Philanthropy and Fundraising
The land trust conducts philanthropy and fundraising activities in an ethical and respons ible manner.

Standard 6: Financial and Asset Management
The land trust manages its finances and assets in a responsible and accountable way.

Standard 7: Volunteers, Staff and Consultants
The land trust has volunteers, staff and/or consultants with appropriate skills and in sufficient numbers to carry out its programs.

Part II: Land Transactions

Standard 8: Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects
The land trust carefully evaluates and selects its conservation projects.

Standard 9: Ensuring Sound Transactions
The land trust works diligently to see that every land and conservation agreement transaction is legally, ethically and technically sound.

Standard 10: Tax Consequences
The land trust works diligently to see that every charitable gift of land or conservation agreements meets federal and provincial tax law requirements.

Standard 11: Conservation Agreement Stewardship
The land trust has a program of responsible stewardship for its conservation agreements.

Standard 12: Land Stewardship
The land trust has a program of responsible stewardship for the land it holds other than through a conservation agreement for conservation purposes.

Resources for Implementing the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices

Ontario Land Trust Alliance continues to provide instructional tools to help land trusts understand and implement the specific practices.

  • Look for workshops at the Annual Gatherings
  • Review other Land Trust Publications.
  • Evaluate how well your organization is implementing Land Trust Standards and Practices with Assessing Your Organization
  • For more information, please contact our office!