Conservation Easements

Res #: 11-14M
Number: 11
Year: 2014
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS there is an ever increasing number of conservation easements on private lands and lands controlled and/or owned by conservation groups; and

WHEREAS these lands often have very little or no storm surge holding capacity and cause back flooding of adjacent productive lands and roadways; and

WHEREAS these lands increase maintenance costs due to culverts continually being plugged by beavers;

BE  IT RESOLVED that SARM  lobby government  to have the conservation  easement holder and land owned or controlled by conservation groups held responsible for maintenance costs of cleaning out culverts, etc. and to effectively manage the water levels on these lands to provide storm surge holding capacity and not cause back flooding on adjacent lands and roadways.

Response from Honorable Scott Moe, Minister of Environment

Conservation easements are agreements between a conservation agency or government authority,and a landowner,that secure and protect ecosystem components  on lands that are privately owned.  The Ministry of Environment administers the legislation,more specifically The Conservation Easements Act and The Conservation Easements Regulations, and acts as the provincial registry for these agreements.

While this legislation is administered by the Ministry of Environment, the ministry is not involved with the management or administration of the land or the details of the agreements as these are negotiated between landowners and easement holders.  Agreements can be changed or terminated if each party agrees.

Conservation easements are tools that are used to conserve biodiversity on private lands and they contribute to the Representative Areas Network (RAN). The RAN works to preserve ecological values for the benefit of all people of Saskatchewan.

Easements do not allow the landowner to adversely impact adjoining property (by flooding or other means), nor do they prevent the removal of beaver dams for water management.