A Love for the Land, a Gift for the Future
How TLC Members and landowners are protecting special places forever
"I love this land," says Dee Bailin of her beautiful 8-acre property in North Saanich. "I love to be able to walk thogh the trees on my property, and I have always felt strongly about protecting greenspaces for the future." So as subdivisions developed around her, she knew she had to find a way to protect her land forever. For Dee the answer lay in a conservation covenant.
The ongoing support of TLC Members make it possible for TLC to partner with private landowners to protect over 180 properties, covering more than 6,400 acres of some of BC's most special places using conservation covenants. This powerful conservation tool allows for the protection of private property all across BC that would not have been available for protection by any other means.
So what is a land covenant? It's a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a covenant holder, such as TLC, in which the landowner promises to protect the land in specific ways. Each covenant is tailored to the landowner's vision and allows them the right to enjoy, live on, and sell the land. For Dee this meant allowing for the maintenance of pre-existing trails and timber for personal firewood while preserving the forest's integrity.
For TLC this flexibility means covenants can be used to protect the broad range of values that encompass BC's special places: from wildlife habitat in the Slocan Valley, to important farming areas in the Okanagan, and lush forests on Vancouver Island. What makes conservation covenants so powerful is that they are attached to the title of the land, thereby binding current and all future owners to its terms. As a covenant holder, TLC performs monitoring visits to ensure the promises made in the agreement are being kept ensuring specific features, areas, or uses are protected in perpetuity.
"TLC made it easy for me to accomplish what I really wanted to be doing," says Dee. "It's such a personal feeling; I feel that I'm contributing to the solution. I hope that others will join me in working with TLC to protect their land in similar ways."