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J. Partial or Full Extinguishment

  • In the rare case that it is necessary to extinguish a conservation agreement, in whole or in part:
    • Follow the terms of the conservation agreement with respect to taking appropriate action, and obtain provincial authorization when required by law.
    • Ensure there is no undue benefit.
    • Take steps to avoid or to mitigate harm to conservation values and/or use any proceeds in a manner consistent with the conservation agreement deed.
    • Consider the land trust’s actions in the context of its reputation and the impact on the land conservation community at large.
    • Provide prompt notification relevant parties, including donors and funders involved in the land transaction.
    • Request prior authorization from Environment and Climate Change Canada if the conservation agreement is certified as an ecological gift.


In rare instances, a conservation agreement may be extinguished (for instance, when a conservation agreement holder merges fee and conservation agreement interests). In some provinces, certain forms of extinguishment must be court-ordered or court-approved. Extinguishments may occur where, changes to the surrounding landscape, have negated the ecological value of the land, which the conservation agreement protects, thus making the conservation agreement obsolete. It is a good practice to address these in the conservation agreement itself. To the extent possible, a land trust should ensure that the conservation values will continue to be protected on the land following the extinguishment or ensure that additional conservation action is taken. Extinguishment of a conservation agreement should never be considered lightly, should only be an option of last resort, and should always consider the precedent that might be set and how extinguishment may impact the viability of the conservation agreement tool itself. Extinguishment of Ecological Gift conservation agreement may be subject to Section 207.31 of the Income Tax Act.