Land Trusts Conservation Fund

NEW! Announcing the launch of the Small Grant Program (Year 2). The Small Grant program is primarily designed to cover associated costs for land securement projects (e.g., staff time, appraisal, legal fees, etc.), not including funds directly for land acquisition.

The deadline to submit an application is September 15, 2020 at 8:00pm (EDT).

UPDATE: As of July 28, 2020, a total of $230K in funding requests have been received for immediate consideration under the Small Grant Program (Year 2). Further updates will be provided as additional funding requests are received, and as program funds are awarded and accepted.

Given the currently unfolding situation with COVID-19, there may be some unexpected impacts on the program year that are outside of our control. We will be working together with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to mitigate any anticipated challenges, and will communicate further if there are any local, regional or national changes that could impact the implementation of Year 2 of the program.

The Government of Canada is investing $100 million over four years in the Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2023, as part of Budget 2018’s Nature Legacy initiative.

The NHCP is a public-private partnership designed to advance privately protected areas in some of the country’s most cherished landscapes.

More specifically, the NHCP aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • to contribute to the achievement of the terrestrial and inland water elements of Target 1 of Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets;
  • to contribute to the protection of habitat for the recovery of Species at Risk Act (SARA) listed species at risk and the prevention of other species from becoming listed under SARA.

 

The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada and a variety of regional and local land trusts represented by the Canadian Land Trust Working Group are working together under the Natural Heritage Conservation Program to support these goals, with a commitment to protect an additional 200,000 hectares (494,210 acres) of habitat for species at risk.

Wildlife Habitat Canada is providing grant administration services for the Land Trusts Conservation Fund, which is a component of the Natural Heritage Conservation Program. The Land Trusts Conservation Fund will provide approximately $4.5 million annually over four years to support Canadian land trusts in securing private lands and private interests in lands.

Eligible projects will be required to demonstrate a minimum 2 : 1 in match funding; that is, $2 match for every $1 of LTCF grant money. Match can include donations of land or interests in land, and stewardship endowment funds raised from other non-federal sources.

Applicants

Project Eligibility

Large Grants program (Year 2): deadline for Year 2 Large Grant applications has passed.

NEW! Small Grants program (Year 2): Applications will be accepted beginning on July 9, 2020 at 12:00pm (EDT); the latest that an application can be submitted is September 15, 2020 at 8:00pm (EDT).

Eligible projects with closing dates between April 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020.

Eligible project expenses will be those that have been incurred in the same fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) as the associated NHCP-LTCF program round (Year 2).

Eligibility
To be eligible to apply to the Land Trusts Conservation Program (LTCF), applicants must meet all the criteria below:
  1. Applicants must be a Canadian Land Trust*;
  2. Applicants must be a registered Canadian charity; and,
  3. Applicants must be in compliance or working towards substantial compliance with the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices (2019)** or Guide des bonnes pratiques en intendance privée: aspects juridiques et organisationnels, as demonstrated through a Board resolution or confirmed through an attestation by a senior officer of the organization. This includes, in particular, compliance or substantial compliance with Standards 8-12 which address the securement and stewarding of conservation lands.

* A Canadian Land Trust is defined as a not-for-profit conservation organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by acquiring land or Conservation Agreements (or assisting with their acquisition) and/or stewarding/managing land or Conservation Agreements (CLT Standards & Practices 2019).

**The Canadian Land Trust Standards & Practices were revised in January 2019 and land trusts will be in a transition phase while adopting new practices. Land trusts are expected to be making significant progress towards the adoption of a Board resolution by the end of Year 2 of this program to be eligible for funding in future program years. Resolutions are expected to be filed with the appropriate Alliance, if applicable, and on-file with the land trust for review by WHC, upon request.

Canada Target 1

In 2015, in order to meet its international commitments to the conservation of biodiversity, federal, provincial and territorial governments developed 19 biodiversity targets for Canada. The first target, Target 1 states that “By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10% of marine areas, are conserved through networks of Protected Areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.”

The NHCP-LTCF program is designed to directly support Canada Target 1 and as such, land funded under the NHCP-LTCF program must count towards Target 1 objectives for permanent or long-term protection of land, either as a “Protected Area” (PA) or an “Other Effective area-based Conservation Measure” (OECM), as defined by Appendix 1 of One with Nature 2019:

  • Protected Area (PA): A Protected Area is “a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.” (One with Nature definition, 2019).
  • Other Effective area-based Conservation Measure (OECM): An OECM is broadly defined as “a geographically defined area other than a Protected Area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes for the in-situ conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and where applicable, cultural, spiritual, socio-economic, and other locally relevant values.” (One with Nature definition, 2019).
        • If your project involves a unique mechanism for conservation or an OECM, please contact WHC to discuss the details of your project.
          Note: successful applications with projects involving an OECM will require approval by ECCC before a Funding Agreement between NCC and the applicant can be signed. (WHC and NCC will facilitate the ECCC request for approval)

A Decision Support Tool exists to provide support in assessing whether or not an area contributes to Canada Target 1. Applicants are encouraged to review the Decision Support Tool and assess their project land using the Decision Support Tool Screening Template for Protected Areas and OECMs to determine whether the area can be counted towards Canada Target 1.

For further information, an overview of the Accounting for Protected and Other Conserved Areas can be found on the Pathway to Canada Target 1 website.

Grant Review Criteria - Large Grants

All Large Grant applications (funding request greater than $30,000) will undergo a review process by Wildlife Habitat Canada and an evaluation by an External Review Panel.

Wildlife Habitat Canada will review large grant applications in the following areas:

  • Project and applicant eligibility;
  • Project duration and completion date;
  • Match requirement;
  • Hectares;
  • Risk of incompletion.

The External Review Panel will evaluate and score large grant applications in the following areas:

  • Conservation and biodiversity significance;
  • Connectivity and/ or adjacency to other conservation lands;
  • Project resiliency;
  • Conservation co-benefits.

Wildlife Habitat Canada will review and select priority projects that meet the requirements and targets of the program, which will be presented to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for final funding decision.

All applicants will be notified as to the funding decision for their application. Successful applicants will receive a funding agreement from the Nature Conservancy of Canada for signature.

Grant Review Criteria - Small Grants

All Small Grant applications (funding requests between $5,000 and $30,000) will be reviewed by Wildlife Habitat Canada in the following areas:

  • Project and applicant eligibility;
  • Project duration and completion date;
  • Match requirement;
  • Hectares;
  • Risk of incompletion.

Applications are reviewed and considered in the order in which they are submitted, on a first come, first served basis; however, applicants are encouraged to take their time and submit accurate, completed applications. If an applicant fails to upload the correct, requested documentation with their Application Form submission, the application may be deemed incomplete and disqualified from funding consideration.

Eligible projects that meet the requirements of the program will be presented to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for final funding decision.

All applicants will be notified as to the funding decision for their application. Successful applicants will receive a funding agreement from the Nature Conservancy of Canada for signature.

Funding Guidelines
  • Project implementation must comply with all relevant legislation, regulations, licenses, permits, etc.
  • Year 2 projects must have a closing date between April 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020. If approved, LTCF funds must be spent on eligible project expenses incurred within the 2020-2021 fiscal year (April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021).
  • The LTCF is a matching funds program, with a required match ratio of a minimum 2 : 1. This means that for every $1 of Program funds awarded, a minimum of $2 of matching funds from other non-federal government or private sources must also be contributed.
    • Associated project expenses that occurred between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2021 (2 fiscal year period) can be applied to the project as matching funds (provided that the expenses were not paid for with other sources of Canadian federal funds).
    • Note: Projects requesting a Large Grant that have greater than a 2:1 match may be considered more favourably in the project selection process.
  • Required Stewardship Endowment Contribution for Each Project: Projects funded under the NHCP-LTCF require a cash contribution to a stewardship endowment fund for the long-term stewardship of the lands. The amount of stewardship endowment required under the NHCP-LTCF is outlined in the guidelines.

Grant Categories

The Land Trusts Conservation Fund (LTCF) has two categories of funding:

  • Large Grant Projects
  • Small Grant Projects

The same project cannot receive funding under both the Large and Small Grant programs.

The following applies to both categories of funding:

  • The acquisition of fee simple lands or Conservation Agreements are eligible project types under the NHCP-LTCF.
  • Purchases, donations and split receipts are all eligible transaction types under the NHCP-LTCF.
LARGE GRANTS

Applicants are permitted to submit one project per Application Form between $30,001 and $1,000,000.  Applicants may choose to submit up to three large project Application Forms (projects) for a total ask of $1,000,000 including a single project for $1,000,000 per round; this would require three separate Application Forms be submitted, one per proposed project.

Required Stewardship Endowment Contribution for Each Project: The amount of stewardship endowment required under the NHCP-LTCF is outlined in the guidelines.

Project Audit: Successful applicants must have a financial audit completed on the project by an external Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). A copy of the audit must be received by WHC no later than February 3, 2021 at 8:00pm (EST).

Audit cost and payment: Note that the cost of the audit will be covered outside of awarded NHCP-LTCF funds, and therefore the audit cost should not be included in your NHCP-LTCF funding ask. Successful applicants must provide a realistic project audit estimate to WHC within one-month of funding approval. Common audit pricing on land acquisition projects is normally in the range of $500 to $6,000; however, only the amount noted on the third-party audit invoice will be paid. For audit costs above $6,000.00, WHC and NCC may, at their discretion, cap the amount provided.

SMALL GRANTS

The Small Grant program is primarily designed to cover associated costs for land securement projects (e.g., staff time, appraisal, legal fees, etc.), not including funds directly for land acquisition.

A land trust may submit a maximum of two* project proposals with funding asks between $5,000 and $30,000 each, for immediate consideration. Application forms will be reviewed on a first-come, first served basis until all funds are awarded; applications must be complete and meet eligibility requirements in order to be considered.

Wait listed Large Grant projects may elect to submit a revised project to the Small Grant program; however, if funds are awarded under the Small Grant program, the project will be removed from consideration under the Large Grant program.

* Applicants may submit additional Application Forms (projects); however, Application Forms over and above the maximum of two for immediate consideration will be added to the “waiting list.” Eligible waiting list projects will only be considered after the September 15, 2020 application deadline, if program funds have not been fully allocated at that time.

Required Stewardship Endowment Contribution for Each Project: Projects funded under the NHCP-LTCF require a cash contribution to a stewardship endowment fund for the long-term stewardship of the lands.

Final Reporting: The deadline for finalizing WHC Project deliverables and submitting all final documentation to receive the final installment is February 3, 2021 at 8:00 pm (EST). 

Project Financial Check: For Final Reporting, successful applicants must provide WHC with a completed Financial Reporting Template and copies of individual invoices or receipts for NHCP-LTCF expenses that are over the amount of $1,000.

Project Audit: Projects may be selected for a program or financial audit by internal WHC staff or an external Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the Small Grants program and the Funding Agreement. Successful applicants are required to maintain detailed records and supporting documentation associated with the project.

Application Process

To submit an application, all applicants must have read, acknowledge and agree with the requirements of the program Guidelines for their respective category (large or small grants).

Successful proponents are expected to enter into a signed agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada regarding the exchange of funds. All applicants are expected to review the draft Funding Agreement prior to preparing and submitting an application.

All Year 2 awardees of the NHCP-LTCF program (Large or Small Grant programs) must complete the Final Reporting Form, in full, no later than February 3, 2021, 8:00pm EST.

Dates and Deadlines
YEAR 2
  • Project Dates: April 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020 (closing)
Large grant applications
  • Year 2 Launch – Large Grants: March 18, 2020
  • Deadline for Applications: April 27, 2020
  • Reviewed by WHC and External Review Panel: May 2020
  • Decision letters to applicants: ~June 22, 2020
  • Final Reporting: February 3, 2021
Small grant applications
  • NEW! Small Grants program (Year 2): July 2, 2020
  • Applications will be accepted beginning on: July 9, 2020
  • Deadline for Applications: September 15, 2020
  • Reviewed by WHC: on a first-come, first served basis until all funds are awarded
  • Decision letters to applicants: approximately 3 weeks after the Application Form has been received and processed.
  • Final Reporting: February 3, 2021
Important Documents

To submit an application, all applicants must have read, acknowledge and agree with the requirements of the program Guidelines for their respective category (Large or Small grants).

Reference the following documents prior to preparing and submitting an application:

  1.  

LARGE GRANTS

  1. Large Grants – Guidelines (Year 2) (deadline for Year 2 Large Grant applications has passed.)
  2. LTCF Funding Agreement Template_Year 2 (Large Grants)
  3. Stewardship Endowment Calculator (Optional)
  4. Guidance for Conservation Planning Framework
  5. Evaluation Criteria Table (Applications)
  6. Example of Required Financial Project Audit (Final Reporting)

SMALL GRANTS

  1. NEW! Small Grants – Guidelines (Year 2)
  2. LTCF Funding Agreement Template_Year 2 (Small Grants)
Templates
APPLICATION TEMPLATES

The following information must be completed and attached to your application form at the time of submission:

PREPARE AND SUBMIT YOUR GRANT APPLICATION ONLINE

Grant applications must be prepared and submitted through Wildlife Habitat Canada’s online grant system. Click here to access the logon page.

New users must create a new account to access the system. Please ensure you save your logon details. You can work on your application in stages using this system, save your progress and return at a later date to complete your submission. When you are ready to submit, please do so by clicking the “Submit” button.

If an applicant has applied to previously to NCC’s OQO Program or the NHCP-LTCF Program, the same username and password can be used to complete the Application Form.

External Review Panel (Large Grants)

The External Review Panel will be comprised of 3 to 6 advisors from across Canada who have extremely strong knowledge or experience in matters of land conservation and/or grant making in conservation.

Year 2 – External Review Panel geographic composition: 

  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Québec
  • Atlantic Canada

External Review Panel members evaluate provided submissions based on a rubric and criteria developed by the CLTWG and WHC.

Year 1 Awards

Congratulations to members of Canada’s land trust community receiving funding in the first year of the NHCP-LTCF program:

Organization / Organisation Project / Projet Province Program / Programme
BC Parks Foundation Princess Louisa Inlet Addition British Columbia
Colombie-Britannique
NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Bruce Trail Conservancy River & Ruin Nature Reserve Ontario NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Valley East Nature Reserve Ontario NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Comité regional pour la protection des falaises (CRPF) Terrain Bergeron Québec NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Corridor Appalachien Protection du mont Foster par l’acquisition de Sud Participation Canada Inc. Québec NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy Orlowski-Rankin
River
Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Trafelet Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Fondation SÉTHY Don d’une portion d’un terrain en milieu privé dans la tourbière de Saint-Joachim-de-Shefford Québec NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Georgian Bay Land Trust Hudson Easement Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Héritage Plein Air du Nord Acquisitions
famille Parent
Québec NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Kawartha Land Trust Fell Property Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Land Conservancy for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Millen Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Mast van Dongen Nature Reserve Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Nature-Action Québec Consolidation de la protection de la tourbière Red Mill à Trois-Rivières – Acquisition du lot Vaillancourt Québec NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Consolidation de la protection de la tourbière Red Mill à Trois-Rivières – Acquisition du lot Béliveau Québec NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust Beeton Heritage Forest Ontario NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Kamstra Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Ontario Farmland Trust Robson Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Copeland Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Ontario Nature Lake Gananoque & Lost Bay Ontario NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Regroupement pour la pérennité de l’île Verte Projet Grenon Québec NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
Southern Alberta Land Trust Society Paton Alberta NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Bar15Ranch Alberta NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Thames Talbot Land Trust Protection of high priority lands in Skunk’s Misery Natural Area Ontario NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
The Couchiching Conservancy Pitts Acquisition Project Ontario NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
The Whitney Wetland Nature Reserve Ontario NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
The Land Conservancy of British Columbia Clearwater Ancient Swamp and Wildlife Corridor British Columbia
Colombie-Britannique
NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
The Nature Trust of British Columbia Princeton Grasslands – Phase 1 British Columbia
Colombie-Britannique
NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Columbia River Wetlands – Edgewater British Columbia
Colombie-Britannique
NHCP-LTCF Small Grant
PCPN-FPOC Petite Subvention
The Nature Trust of New Brunswick Extending Minister’s Face Nature Preserve on Long Island New Brunswick
Nouveau-Brunswick
NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante
Nova Scotia Nature Trust Lime Hill Conservation Lands Expansion Nova Scotia
Nouvelle-Écosse
NHCP-LTCF Large Grant
PCPN-FPOC Subvention Importante

Capacity Building Services

To support land trusts in successfully engaging with the Land Trusts Conservation Fund (LTCF) and in adopting and complying with the Canadian Land Trusts Standards and Practices 2019, the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, the Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia and the Réseau de milieux naturels protégés will work collectively to provide capacity building services.

  • educational programs (e.g., conservation planning and engagement with the LTCF);
  • adherence to Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices 2019;
  • support and feedback in the development of project plans and funding applications.

If this support is of interest to you and you have not already done so, we encourage you to contact your regional representative directly:

 

 

Please note that WHC is the primary contact for all general program inquiries regarding program eligibility and guidelines.

Questions? Get in touch.

Contact WHC

Current Awardees

Current Awardees

Dates and Deadlines
Year 2
  • Project Dates: April 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020 (closing)
Large grant applications
  • Decision letters to applicants: ~June 22, 2020
  • Mid-Project Milestones: August 31, 2020 and October 2, 2020
  • Final Reporting: February 3, 2021
Small grant applications
  • Decision letters to applicants: approximately 3 weeks after the Application Form has been received and processed.
  • Mid-Project Milestones: August 31, 2020 and October 2, 2020
  • Final Reporting: February 3, 2021
Templates and Reporting
SUBMIT YOUR REPORTS AND DOCUMENTS ONLINE

Documents and reporting must be submitted through Wildlife Habitat Canada’s online grant system. Click here to access the logon page.