The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust is proud to have been the first conservation organization designated by the province of Nova Scotia as being eligible to hold conservation easements. We were equally proud to assist other conservation organizations, like the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, in also becoming designated. Although there are other organizations that can assist landowners with conservation easements in Nova Scotia, the Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust remains the only Cape Breton based non-profit land trust. We are focused on protecting private land in the Bras d’Or watershed, and our knowledge of the area and ecology, as well as the easement process, makes us a great partner for private land owners in the Bras d’Or.
A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization (such as the Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust), or government agency, that attaches to the land title. The land remains the private property of the owner and the decision to place a conservation easement on a property is strictly a voluntary one. However, once the easement is in place it restricts future use of the land. Restrictions contained in the agreement are registered with the property title and apply to both current and future landowners. Generally, a conservation easement is made for the purpose of protecting, restoring or enhancing land that contains rare or outstanding species, important habitats, natural ecosystems, land forms, or landscapes that the owner or community would like to protect for future generations.
Because conservation easements can effect the market value of the property, for example by restricting various types of development, the registering owner is entitled to receive a charitable donation receipt equal to the reduction in market value of the property. In addition, the area of land protected by the conservation easement is exempt from property taxes.
The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust is committed to assisting private landowners in the Bras d’Or with this process. We will help you to draft a conservation easement that meets your individual requirements and situation, while achieving the best conservation value possible. As the easement holder, we will also help you to maintain the agreement over the long term, by ensuring that you, and subsequent owners of the land, uphold the restrictions. We are here to work with you to create a lasting benefit to conservation in the Bras d’Or, and we’ll do everything we can to assist you in the process.