Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ontario Land Trust Alliance

The Thames Talbot Land Trust is just one of  34 land trusts that are members of OLTA, the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.  Modeled in part after the Land Trust Alliance in the U.S., it provides education and support to all these land trusts.

I was actually involved in establishing OLTA back in 1997, when it was the Ontario Nature Trust Alliance (ONTA).  I served as the Chair of the group as it evolved into OLTA by 2003.  Starting with a group of 13 trusts it has grown to 34, including 3 that are provincial in scope.  After 2003 I turned my efforts to establishing the Ontario Farmland Trust.

OLTA's main interest is in education.  It was a very creative time for the volunteer conservation sector and new ideas were developing rapidly.  We soon discovered that the best source for 'how-to' were other land trusts who had already tried it.  And thus the annual 'Land Trust Gathering' became the highlight of the alliance.

Trying to capture the new ideas and techniques that were evolving, another land trust leader and I wrote 'Creative Conservation: A Handbook for Ontario Land Trusts'.  The book is still in use today.  Most land trusts focus on fund-raising and purchase of natural areas, but with changes in legislation, conservation easements were also promoted.  The Ontario Farmland Trust uses these exclusively.  Keeping up with land and tax law is challenging!

Together the members of OLTA have conserved over 85000 acres of significant lands, and have become the driving force for creative conservation here in Ontario.


13 comments:

  1. Your commitment for saving the lands is awe inspiring. Keep on keeping on!

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  2. That has been a very worthy legacy.

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  3. What a great achievement! Way to go! :)

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  4. Boy is that a feather in your cap! You deserve a gigantic pat on the back for your efforts; just don't try to give yourself that pat on the back, you don't need a dislocated shoulder.

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  5. Good for you in taking an interest in and taking on a project like Land Tracts that I think most people wouldn't. It's people like you who dig into those seemingly confusing topics and make some sense out of them for the rest of us. Well not so much for me, I get confused reading the ingredients on a corn flakes box.

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  6. We are great supporters of land trusts. That is how I found your blog back in the day!

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  7. Volunteers have to do a lot of work on land trusts. You did that work to set up a good pattern for land trusts.

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  8. That's wonderful. You have quite a legacy, FG. Thank you for your efforts. :-)

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  9. I'm afraid that a lot of this is over my head but do applaud you for all that you've done for the land trusts. It is great that you got so involved all those years ago and still have the interest to keep your hands in the pot.

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  10. It would be interesting to see the similarities and the difference in U.S. land trusts with yours. We also have a huge web of regulations and changes.

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  11. That is a very good achievement.

    All the best Jan

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