The conservation of lands in the 1000 Islands begins with willing landowners who are interested in preserving the natural beauty, diverse wildlife habitats, water quality and outdoor recreation opportunities of the 1000 Islands region. TILT offers various conservation options to meet the goals of the landowner and to provide the right conservation option for you. Please contact the TILT office if you have any questions.
Conserve your land while maintaining private ownership
Landowners can conserve their land while maintaining ownership of the land through a Conservation Easement. A Conservation Easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization, such as a land trust, that restricts specific activities on the land to protect its conservation values.
Conservation Easements allow the landowner to maintain ownership of the land while limiting future development. The property can also be sold or passed onto heirs, with the Conservation Easement forever restricting the land as the original landowner planned, ensuring their wishes for conservation in perpetuity.
Landowners can choose to restrict areas of their land from development, while also setting aside development zones for the future, ensuring a balance between the built environment and the protection of natural resources on the property. Conservation Easements can also ensure future uses on the land as long as they are in agreement with the goals of the Conservation Easement. For example, the cutting of a limited percentage of trees for firewood , as long as it is within the standards for ensuring a healthy forest, can be specified; hunting on the property to continue to manage healthy wildlife populations can also be permitted.
Each easement is unique to the land it governs. The land trust works with the landowner to develop the easement so that it conforms to the wishes of the donor and protects the conservation values of the land. Contact the office for more information.
Conserve your land by donating it to the Land Trust
Landowners can also donate lands with conservation value to the land trust. This means they are transferring the whole, unconditional ownership of the land over to a land trust, which will then hold the ownership and care of that land in perpetuity.
Donations of conservation land have many benefits to the landowner such as beginning a legacy of conservation in the region as well as potential charitable tax implications for such a donation.
Land trusts will hold this land "in-fee if that is the wish of the donor. The land trust can also resell the property with a Conservation Easement on it to ensure its future protection. Again, this option depends on the donor’s intent for the donation of the property and would be outlined at the time of the donation.
When a landowner donates land to TILT, the landowner may choose to discuss the possibility of TILT selling the property in the future to raise funds for stewardship, outreach, educational, or other conservation projects. This would be conducted in full accordance with landowner intent and the provisions for the land created by the landowner. All conservation properties sold are protected with a permanent conservation easement.
Conserve your land before selling it
Landowners who want to sell their property and don’t want to see it over-developed can work with TILT staff to also place a Conservation Easement on their land prior to its sale. By placing a Conservation Easement on the property, the landowner is ensuring protection in perpetuity, no matter who owns the land.
Conserve your land through a Bargain Sale
A bargain sale occurs when the landowner's property is purchased by the land trust for less than fair market value. This bargain sale provides benefits for both the landowner and the land trust. The landowner can recognize the difference between the fair market value of the property and the purchase price as a charitable donation. The purchase of the land at a bargain price sale makes land acquisition less expensive for the land trust, saving money for additional conservation projects.