Through a contract with Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Centre for Land Conservation (CLC) conducted a situational analysis focused on the stewardship and legal protection of private conservation lands and agreements to ensure that the conservation benefits of these properties are sustained over the long term.


In order to gather information and prepare this report, the following definitions were used:

  • Stewardship includes activities undertaken to maintain the biological and ecological values of conservation lands held by an organization or under agreement with a landowner (including the monitoring of lands/agreements).
  • Legal protection includes any legal challenges and issues associated with conservation agreements and fee simple lands and/or legal risks to organizations that hold lands (including any enforcement actions).


The following report comprises information collected through direct consultations and written submissions from a total of 44 individuals from 24 private land conservation organizations and external experts representing organizations from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Canada-wide organizations and U.S. organizations during February and March 2022. Participating organizations ranged from community based, with few or no staff, to regional and national in scope.

The consultations build on previous consultations conducted by CLC as well as outcomes from

“A National Conversation on Performance Assurance Approaches for Land Trusts in Canada” forum held in February 2020.


The report results reflect active, ongoing and spirited conversations within the sector. The conversations are summarized with key themes highlighted in Part 2 Stewardship and Part 3 Legal Protection. Unless otherwise credited, quotations throughout the report are from participants in these conversations. The private land conservation community is highly aware of the context in which they are working, along with the emerging trends, opportunities, challenges and threats they are navigating to achieve long-term success. Private land conservation organizations welcome the attention to these issues and have a strong willingness to participate in strategies that will leverage their strengths, diminish vulnerabilities, activate opportunities and ensure they can fulfill their mandate for lasting stewardship of Canada’s conservation lands and agreements.