Western Sky’s conservation programs focus on land that has natural, scenic, agricultural, historical or recreational value
We have numerous tools available for landowners to voluntarily conserve their lands. These include:
Fee Simple Acquisition
In a fee simple acquisition Western Sky would own the land. This is the most secure form of conservation and takes place through one of the following mechanisms or through a combination of the following tools: land donation, land purchase or partial donation with a cash purchase of the remaining land.
Donations or partial donations of land are eligible for tax benefits and many properties may qualify for the federal Ecological Gifts Program (EcoGifts) which provides additional tax benefits. Western Sky has also worked with landowners who have donated their land and retained use of the property through a life estate.
For more information on EcoGifts please visit: www.ec.gc.ca/pde-egp
Conservation Easements or Covenants
Conservation easements allow the landowner to remain the sole owner of the property. The easement places restrictions on the land. These restrictions are mutually agreed upon by the landowner and Western Sky. Should the landowner sell the land or change ownership in any way, the conservation easement will remain on the property.
Management agreements are voluntary agreements between the landowner and Western Sky that detail the use and management of the land for a set period of time. Typically, management agreements are used in riparian or wetland management or to facilitate the conversion of crop land to hay or grassland.