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H. Amendments

  • Adopt and follow a written policy or procedure addressing conservation agreement amendments so that they are consistent with the following principles:
    • Are consistent with the land trust’s mission
    • Comply with all applicable provincial and federal laws
    • Do not jeopardize the land trust’s charitable status
    • Do not result in a private or undue benefit
    • Are consistent with the conservation purpose(s) and intent of the conservation agreement
    • Are consistent with the documented intent of the donor, grantor and any funding source
    • Have a net beneficial or neutral effect on the relevant conservation values protected by the conservation agreement
  • Evaluate all conservation agreement amendment proposals with due diligence sufficient to satisfy the above principles.
  • If an amendment is used to adjust conservation agreement boundaries (such as to remedy disputes or encroachment) and results in a de minimis extinguishment, document how the land trust’s actions address the first term of J.
  • Request authorization from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada for amendments to conservation agreements certified as ecological gifts.


While conservation agreement amendments are not common, land trusts should expect to receive requests for amendments and may, in certain circumstances, wish to initiate an amendment to strengthen a conservation agreement, recognize a boundary adjustment or clarify language. Most land trusts, when faced with their first amendment request from a landowner, wish they had a policy to guide their actions. This practice encourages land trusts to develop an amendment policy to help ensure that amendments meet the mission of the organization and maintain the land trust’s credibility. A policy should prohibit undue benefit, clarify board and staff roles, and ensure that all amendments result in either a positive, or not less than neutral conservation outcome. Amendment of Ecological Gift conservation agreements may be subject to Section 207.31 of the Income Tax Act. Many other standards are involved in reviewing amendment requests, including 1, 4, 6, 8, and 9, and practice 3F.