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G. Contingency Strategy

  • Establish a contingency plan for all conservation agreements in the event the land trust ceases to exist or can no longer steward and administer them.
  • Maintain contact with the backup holder as appropriate to ensure the ability of the holder to hold conservation agreements is still valid.


It is vital that every land trust consider what will happen to its assets if the organization ceases to exist, and plan accordingly. One strategy is to include backup or contingency provisions in the conservation agreement. This strategy may not be effective, however, without alerting the potential backup grantees or providing the necessary funding for backup grantees to take on the responsibility for the conservation agreements. In these two practices, original grantees and future grantees are encouraged to follow established procedures and plan accordingly. In planning for a backup strategy, land trusts should have complete files for each conservation agreement and stewardship funds available to transfer to a new conservation agreement holder. Land trusts that regularly agree to be a backup holder may want to have criteria for what projects they will accept. Some land trusts that are named as backup holders follow the same acquisition and approval process for backup interests as they do when they are accepting any other conservation agreement. Land trusts should also transfer any endowment funds that are specific to the property in question to the new conservation agreement holder. Environment Canada must authorize the transfer of any Ecological Gift properties, including conservation agreements, or land trusts may face penalties under Section 207.31 of the Income Tax Act.