The term Land Trust refers to a registered charitable organization that seeks to acquire land or interests in land for the purpose of conservation.
Why are there land trusts?
A land trust seeks to protect local land, and hold those lands or conservation easements in trust for future generations. In some areas, such as southern Ontario, land trusts are increasingly necessary as urban growth destroys habitat and pushes access to nature father away from those who could benefit from it.
Where are land trusts?
Land Trusts and conservancies are generally local, but may be provincial, regional or even national with widely dispersed land holdings. Most land trusts focus on conserving the biological values of land. Some have a wider vision in order to protect scenic, historical, agricultural, and recreational lands as well.
How are land trusts associated with the Greenbelt or the Oak Ridges Moraine?
The Greenbelt and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation plan were created by two different pieces of provincial legislation that sought to protect how the designated lands were to be used by private land holders. Land trusts are private entities not associated with the government.
Are lands held by land trusts protected?
Land trusts are created to preserve land for conservation purposes. That is their mission. The Northumberland Land Trust is subject to the laws of the various levels of government, which includes protections under the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.
Can the government seize the NLT’s lands for development?
No. The NLT’s lands are private property. The government doesn’t seize land for housing development but can expropriate land for highways etc. but that case is extremely rare and is unlikely given the location of NLT properties.
Didn’t the government try to do just that with the Greenbelt?
The recent Greenbelt controversy involving the Ontario government was based on the use of land in the designated Greenbelt. Land in the Greenbelt is largely privately owned. The Ontario government planned to re-zone the Greenbelt land so it could be developed by the land owners for suburban housing, which we believe is not the answer to Ontario’s housing needs. The government has decided not to proceed with that plan.