Why would I sign an easement if I have no intention of breaking my native grassland?
Easements are a proven way to ensure that native grassland will stay the way nature intended, despite ever changing factors such as market pressures and land changing ownership. They can be worked into succession plans and help keep ranches alive. The family ranches are disappearing from the landscape and we don’t want these grasslands and critical habitat for species at risk to disappear with them.
Are there specific areas in the province that the SSGF wants to focus their easements on?
We will accept all proposals but funding may direct location of projects. Our primary area of interest is in the south west corner of Saskatchewan, in the mixed and short grass prairie. This area contains the Milk River Watershed, where 50% of the land base is still native prairie and over 75% is in perennial cover.
What happens if I ever want to sell land that holds a conservation easement?
The easement is used as interest on the land title and all terms of the easement will transfer with ownership.
How does an easement impact what can be done with my land in the future?
Easements will have a restriction of “no break, drain or development”. This includes division/subdivision of the land, construction of additional buildings other than replacement of existing structures to support daily operations of the ranch and any destructive activities that degrade the native plant communities
Can I start with a CA and move into a CE in the future?
Agreements can be a way of getting a taste of what a conservation easement might entail. You can move into holding both an agreement and easement on the land if the rancher is interested. We will work with you to determine what will work best for your operation. All agreements/easements are voluntary.
Can I put an easement on land that was once farmed and is now back to native grass?
We have many types of agreements these can fall under like our Habitat Restoration Agreements that can enable ranchers to convert cultivated lands back to native grass species in order to reduce habitat fragmentation. Please reach out to us and we can help determine the best route for your land and operation.
Are tame grasses eligible for easements?
Retention of grasslands, whether tame or native, are important to the SSGF. Land that has been in permanent cover for over 10 years in some of the better soil regions, are more likely to store and sequester carbon than poorer quality soils. These lands may qualify for term easements so please reach out to the foundation for more information.
Is all land valued the same way for CE’s?
The current approach to the value of CE’s in Canada is based on fair market values of the land before and after an easement is registered on the title. Perpetual CE’s are generally at 25-33% of the fair market value. Term CE’s may be lower. Appraisers determine the value of the land based on the highest and best use of the land prior to and following restrictions established by an easement.
How do CE’s protect species at risk?
Easements protect species at risk by guaranteeing their habitat will be around for years to come without the threat of conversion to annual cropping, drainage of waterways and fragmentation of habitats for species.
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