Overview

Alberta Land Trust Grant Program (ALTGP) grants are available to eligible land trust organizations. These grants help establish and administer new conservation easements on private land and/or administer new conservation projects on land trusts titled land.

Conservation easements

Conservation easements are legally binding voluntary agreements between a landowner and a land trust. When placed on the land title, an easement restricts future surface development but allows current activities, such as grazing, to continue. The landowner retains title.

Grants through this program are not available for the purchase of land.

Land trusts

A land trust is a not-for-profit, non-government organization established to promote biodiversity conservation on private land. Any land trust currently registered in Alberta is eligible to apply but must provide other funding and demonstrate that their project aligns with the government’s overall conservation objectives.

The Alberta Land Stewardship Fund was established following changes in 2010 to the Public Lands Act, resulting from the Alberta Land Stewardship Act.

About the program

Funding

Any registered Alberta land trust organization can apply for funding from the program. The land trust organization must have stated in their mission statement that their purpose is for land conservation.

Program objectives

The objectives of the program are to provide grants to land trust organizations to help establish and administer new conservation easements on private land and/or administer new conservation projects on land trusts titled land. Grants will not be awarded to enable purchase of private land.

Applying for the program

Interested land trusts should send an email to request an application package. Applications for the annual grant cycle are to be received by early September annually.

Application package example

Below is an example document of an application package which includes the application summary, application form, and a budget spreadsheet which is updated annually. For the most recent application package please email the Alberta Land Trust Grant Program.

Evaluation criteria

Project proposals will be evaluated on the following:

  1. Ability to Leverage Funds: For each grant application, a land trust must be able to leverage or provide funds for the project. Successful grant applications shall be awarded a base grant leveraging exemption of $30,000. Every dollar above this base amount shall be leveraged at least 2:1. For example, if a land trust applies for a grant of $250,000, the land trust must leverage at least $440,000 (i.e. $250,000 - $30,000 = $220,000 x 2 = $440,000). If a land trust applies for a grant less than $30,000 the leveraging ratio is 2:1 and there is no exemption awarded.

    Leveraging categories include:

    • cash
    • the value of the donated land or conservation easement
    • in kind services such as manpower and equipment donations directly related to the project
    • other committed grants
  2. Alignment with Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) conservation priorities, which are centered around:
    1. maintaining large areas of native landscape
    2. conserving connecting corridors
    3. sustaining disconnected pockets of native habitat within fragmented landscapes

Grant process

Approval process

Once AEP receives an application package, the package is reviewed to determine completeness. An internal review committee will then determine eligibility by verifying that the proposed project aligns with the Department’s conservation objectives and that the appropriate amount of leveraging is available.

Recommendations from the review committee will then be submitted to the Deputy Minister for final approval.

Internal review committee

The internal review committee is comprised of representatives from Rangeland Policy, Rangeland Resource Stewardship, Fish & Wildlife Policy, Regional Planning and Finance. The internal review committee also consults with field staff located near the project areas for expert opinion.

Multiple project applications

There are no limits on the number of projects or locations a land trust can apply for. Each project will be evaluated independently.

Grant funding

Funding use

Project funding must be used within 3 years of the funding allocation date.

Funding can be used for:

  • securement of a conservation easement
  • land assessment and planning involved with a new conservation easement or donated title (e.g. undertaking a baseline survey)
  • administrative costs involved in obtaining or maintaining the conservation easement or donated title.
    • costs must be directly related to the project
    • examples include legal fees, accounting and book keeping
  • staffing costs directly related to the project
  • extension directly related to the project (e.g. educational signage)
    • grant funding cannot be used to raise funds or increase membership
  • Stewardship Endowment to ensure the continued protection and maintenance of the property
  • when funded, development of new projects

Where does funding come from?

Funding for the program is from the Land Stewardship Fund and is generated from the proceeds of public land sales.

Appropriate use of grant funds

Land trusts must submit an annual report to AEP. This report outlines the land trust’s achievements and funding used to date. Land trusts must also submit a final report that describes the conservation outcomes achieved by the grant.

Funds can be placed into a Stewardship Endowment Fund, but the funds must be earmarked for the project that they were awarded for.

Management of lands already owned/managed by Land Trusts

Grants from this program are intended to enable "new" conservation projects (e.g. new lands placed under conservation easements); therefore, funding requests for existing conservation projects will not be considered. Therefore, conservation easements obtained or land titles donated greater than a year prior to the application closing date are not eligible.

Contact

To connect with the Alberta Land Trust Grant program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3595
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: landtrust.grantprogram@gov.ab.ca