Municipal Conservation Easement Program

 

Municipal Conservation Easement Program

A Guide to help municipalities create a conservation easement program

The Issue / Idea

How can municipalities help landowners conserve their land for the future by using a conservation easement?

The Project

Flagstaff County in east-central Alberta has been working towards better protecting the valuable landscapes within its communities. After being approached by a local landowner about granting a conservation easement to the County, Flagstaff approached Miistakis about helping them establish a Conservation Easement program (municipalities are ‘qualified organizations’ under the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, eligible to hold conservation easements).

Working with the County’s Agricultural Service Board, Miistakis helped them draft a conservation easement bylaw, and tailor the policy to their draft Municipal Development Plan.

Once the decision was made to go ahead with implementation, Miistakis worked with the County to identify the conservation goals, and specific administrative needs. Miistakis then developed several implementation resources including a program procedures manual, a conservation easement template, a Baseline Documentation Report manual and template, a monitoring template, and several other templates and resources.

Flagstaff County is now moving ahead to negotiate conservation easements with interested ratepayers in their community.


Flagstaff County Conservation Easement Program: Procedures Manual

Flagstaff County Conservation Easement Program: Conservation Easement Checklists

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

Completed in

2017

Supporters

Flagstaff County

The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

 

The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

Part 1 of the Municipalities and Environmental Law Series

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities may be unclear as to the role they can play in environmental management.

The Project

Municipal decision-making is increasingly vital to effective environmental management. Today’s municipalities play a central role in developing human settlements and green spaces, managing water bodies, and regulating the ways in which these are impacted. In order to do so, municipalities rely on a variety of legislation that empowers them to make decisions and take action in this regard. The following publication is intended to clarify the sources and the scope of municipal authority with respect to the environment.


Report: The Scope of Municipal Powers and the Environment

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Environmental Law Centre

Status

Development of this publication began with the Municipalities and Environmental Law information series in Fall of 2016, and was completed in

November 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

Conservation Easement Guide for Municipalities

 

A Conservation Easement Guide for Municipalities

A practical how-to guide for municipalities considering holding conservation easements or establishing a conservation easement program

The Issue / Idea

Municipalities are eligible holders of conservation easements, but have very little information on how – and why – municipalities might go about using this tool.

The Project

To respond to the issue, the Miistakis Institute developed a ‘How To’ guide that informs municipalities about what conservation easements are, the municipal considerations for using this tool, details on what a conservation easement includes, and direction on how to create and administer a conservation easement program. The guide also comes with several Alberta-based resources and templates.

The sections of the guide are:

  • The Basics (What is a conservation easement?)
  • Conservation Easements and Municipalities (policy, planning, financial, and special considerations
  • Administration (preparing, creating, and stewarding a conservation easement and/or program)

Municipal Conservation Easement Guide

Municipal Conservation Easement Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet 1
10 Things Municipalities Should Know About CEs
Fact Sheet 2
Comparison of 3 Municipal Conservation Tools
Fact Sheet 3
Conservation Easement Sequence of Events
Fact Sheet 4
Overview of a Municipality’s Potential Costs Related to CEs

 

Municipal Conservation Easement Program Resources

(Click on any item to go to it!)

Conservation Easement Web Resources

Templates and Drafting Resources

Example Plans and Policies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provincial Legislation

Support Organizations

(Did we miss something important? Let us know!)

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

This guide was released in

October 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation

ALSA Tools Webinars

ALSA’s Conservation Tools for Municipalities: A Webinar Series

Informational webinars on conservation easements, transferable development credits, conservation offsets, and conservation directives

The Issue / Idea

The Alberta Land Stewardship Act has conservation and stewardship tools that could be of use to municipalities, but it is unclear how they would work for municipalities.

The Project

To respond to the issue, the Miistakis Institute organized a series of webinars on the four conservation and stewardship tools that are included in the Alberta Land Stewardship Act. Experts in each of the topics were asked to present a one-hour webinar, with each followed by a moderated Q&A session.

The webinars presented were:

Conservation Easements: Tuesday January 24, 2017
Kim Good, Legacy Land Trust Society

Transfer of Development Credits: Tuesday January 31, 2017
Guy Greenaway, Miistakis Institute

Conservation Directives: Tuesday February 7, 2017
Jason Unger, Environmental Law Centre

Conservation Offsets: Tuesday February 14, 2017
Dave Poulton, Poulton Environmental Strategies Inc. & the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets

The webinars were well-received, with approximately 50 people attending each one. The follow-up evaluations saw the content rated as Excellent (9.5%), Very Good (57%), or Good (33%), with none rating the content as Poor or Fair.

Webinar Files

Conservation Easements (slide deck, video, resource)

Transfer of Development Credits (slide deck, video, resource)

Conservation Directives (slide deck, video, resource)

Conservation Offsets (slide deck, video, resource)

Organization

This project was undertaken by

The Miistakis Institute

Status

The webinars were presented in

January and February 2017

Supporters

Max Bell Foundation

Anonymous Foundation