Working farmland and woodlots are fundamental to New Brunswick’s rural communities and their economic development. Good stewardship of these lands ensures that they remain productive and available to contribute to our prosperity in the future.
The New Brunswick Community Land Trust, a charitable, volunteer driven organization is eligible to provide landowners with a number of conservation tools, which ensures their working lands remain available for sustainable production into the future, and is the only organization in New Brunswick to hold working land easements. The NBCLT can assist landowners by holding, and proving stewardship oversight of, a Conservation Easement, by holding land in trust, or by assisting with an Ecological Gift application process.
A Conservation Easement is a voluntary, legally binding agreement which is developed between a landowner and a land trust. It outlines the land use restrictions (ei: no clear cutting) which the owner wishes to place on their working land, so that it remains in sustainable production through time.
With a conservation easement, the landowners retain ownership of the land and it may be sold or passed on to the next generation. However, the future owners are required to abide by the stewardship principles outlined in the Conservation Easement. As holder of the Conservation Easement, NBCLT is required to inspect the property annually, to ensure that land use and management practices adhere to the Conservation Easement.
Land Held in Trust
The NBCLT is eligible to hold donated lands in trust and provide stewardship oversight that ensures the land remains in sustainable production and contributes to local rural economy.
Tax Benefit for Land Conservation
Landowners, who place a conservation easement on their property, or donate all or part of their property in trust, are eligible for an Income Tax credit. The value of credit is established by the value of the donated property, or in the case of a conservation easement; the difference between fair market value and the (reduced) value created by the conservation easement restrictions.
Landowners, who protect natural and undisturbed habitats through a conservation easement or land donation with NBCLT, may also be eligible for enhanced Tax and Capital Gains benefits through Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program (www.cws-scf.ec.gc.ca/ecogifts or phone 506-364-5049). This program provides favourable income tax treatment for gifts, or conservation easements, of ecologically sensitive land.
The NBCLT is an approved recipient of Ecological Gifts under this program and will assist eligible donors with the application process.