Nova Scotia Nature Trust | Nova Scotians Protecting Nova Scotia

Cross-Border Conservation

Increasingly, Canadian land trusts are working with U.S. residents who own ecologically important land in Canada. The complex legal, technical and tax issues on both sides of the border have been prohibitive for both land trusts and the potential conservation land or easements donors. The Nova Scotia Nature Trust has led a major initiative to research and document the issues and opportunities related to cross-border conservation in Canada, and to put in place the infrastructure and programs needed to support cross-border conservation across the country.

The major results are two-fold: An excellent resource package for cross-border conservation gifts-The Cross-Border Conservation Tool-Kit; and the establishment of a new U.S. charity to support Canadian land trusts, and gifts of cross-border conservation. See more on each below.

Cross-Border Conservation Tool-Kit:

The Nature Trust's conservation tool-kit was created to help Canadian land trusts, U.S. residents interested in protecting conservation land in Canada, and their professional advisors, to understand the issues affecting cross-border gifts, and the specific procedures and options involved in such gifts. The guide itself is a fairly complex and technical document meant as a resource for land trust staff members facilitating a cross-border conservation gift. It may also be helpful for a landowner or professional advisor (such as a lawyer, appraiser, estate planner or accountant/financial planner). The easement template provides sample language to address both typical Canadian conservation easement issues, and also the very particular requirements of U.S. tax law which should be met by all easements held by U.S. residents for land in Canada. The fact sheets are less technical and detailed, and are tailored specifically for set audiences: land trusts, U.S. donors, U.S. donor advisors and appraisers.

See links below for the various parts of the tool-kit:

Guide to Cross-Border Conservation
Cross-Border Conservation Easement Template
Cross-border Conservation Fact Sheet for Land Trusts
Cross-border Conservation Fact Sheet for Donor Advisors
Cross-border Conservation Fact Sheet for U.S. Donors
Cross-border Conservation Fact Sheet for Appraisers
*(Acrobat Reader is needed to view these files. Get it here)

Our sincere thanks to the technical advisory committee who provided valuable input and advice on the guide:
Steven J. Small,
Stefan Nagel,
Ian Attridge,
Karen Marchetti-Ponte,
Susan Mehinagic
and an anonymous advisor.

Thanks as well to other who supported the writing and editing of the documents:
Peter Mushkat,
Lori Rogers,
William Hayes
and Phil Pearl.

And our thanks and appreciation to the funding partners who made this work possible:

Environment Canada's Ecological Gifts Program Environment Canada's EcoAction Program Donner Canadian Foundation
EJLB Foundation George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation Davis Conservation Foundation
Norcross Wildlife Foundation Salamander Foundation



The American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts

A new organization has been created to support Canadian land trusts and their conservation efforts across Canada through cross-border conservation. Read more here...