On October 29th, Minister of Natural Resources, Donna Cansfield greeted Ontario land trusts and other land conservationists at the Ontario Land Trust Alliance's (OLTA) annual conference.
Dedicated to conservation, Cansfield's ministry supports the Ontario Land Trust Assistance Program (OLTAP) which provides land trusts with financial grants towards the costs of land securement transactions to help conserve Ontario's biodiversity. To date, the OLTAP grants of over $630,000 have helped land trusts protect 9,421 acres of land with an appraised value of $24.3 million.
The meeting was part of the annual conference of Ontario land trusts and other conservationists in Barrie, ON. Minister Cansfield reviewed the many accomplishments by her ministry in land conservation. She expressed her support of the work done by land trusts and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.
'This was an opportunity for land trusts to meet with the Minister and express their appreciation for the Ministry of Natural Resources' support for land conservation at the community level. The Ontario Land Trust Assistance Program is extremely important and we are grateful that the Minister recognizes the valuable contribution land trusts make to support Ontario's biodiversity,' says Ian Macnab, Executive Director of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.
Aside from the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Land Trust Alliance also receives financial support from Environment Canada to assist land trusts through the Ontario Land Trust Assistance Program. Other important conservation projects are funded with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario and through a variety of private foundations and individual donors.
Land trusts are non-profit, charitable organizations which have as one of their core activities the acquisition of land or interests in land (such as conservation easements) for the purpose of conservation. Most land trusts focus on conserving the biological values of land but across the continent, land trusts have also been established to protect scenic, historical, agricultural and recreation lands.