19-0610 3.X I03-E3, Confirmation of Proposed Land Trust - CERCA

Question:

We are proposing the Cowichan Estuary Restoration & Conservation Association as our local land trust. Is CERCA and acceptable local land trust?
We are using I03-E2 12/2010 Single-Family Homes. In conjunction with I03-E2 we would like to use I03-E3 05/2014 Local Land Trusts.
Land Trust - a private, nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.
CERCA is a private, nonprofit organization that actively works to restore and conserve the Cowichan Estuary. The Cowichan Estuary is 1000 acres of vital land/mudflats that determines the ecological integrity of the entire Cowichan Valley. Although CERCA is not a registered land trust it follows specific standards and practices that are inline with the Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia (see attached documents). The Cowichan Estuary is "owned" by the Province of British Columbia in trust for the people of the province. While the provincial government holds the land, CERCA is an active steward of the estuary.
The Green Point Project is adjacent to the Cowichan Estuary and members of the project team are actively collaborating and volunteering with CERCA. 
The following are excerpts from the CERCA website www.cowichanestuary.com

CERCA standards and practices + CLT standards and practices

Answer:

Although the Cowichan Estuary Restoration & Conservation Association (CERCA) is actively working to restore the Cowichan Estuary, it is not clear that it meets the requirements of I03-E3 Local Land Trusts. Specifically, it does not appear that CERCA is a land trust, nor does it appear that CERCA protects land in perpetuity at the same level that would be provided by a land trust. However, ILFI recognizes that conservation organizations such as CERCA play a key role in advocating for and participating in projects related to the protection of critical ecosystems such as the Cowichan Estuary. Therefore, the following volunteer-hour based Exceptions are being expanded to allow for volunteer hours with such conservation organizations:

I03-E2 Single-Family Homes
In lieu of a financial contribution, the owner or an immediate family member may volunteer a minimum of 100 volunteer hours during the duration of project design, construction and performance period with an approved land trust that is actively responsible for the purchase and/or permanent easement, as well as ongoing stewardship, of conservation tracts of land in excess of 100 acres. Alternatively, volunteer hours may occur with a nonprofit conservation organization with similar goals of an approved land trust, even if the conservation organization is not responsible for permanent easement of land. Any such conservation organizations that do not meet the definition of approved land trusts must be approved through the Dialogue prior to certification.

The owner must provide official records from the land trust or nonprofit conservation organization documenting the volunteer’s name as well as the dates and hours of work. Owners who use this Exception do not need to provide any of the Basic Documentation typically required to meet this Imperative.

I03-E4 Small Non-Profit Organizations
In lieu of a financial contribution, small non-profit organizations (non-profits) may volunteer a minimum of 200 hours with an approved land trust during the project design, construction and performance period. Alternatively, volunteer hours may occur with a separate nonprofit conservation organization with similar goals of an approved land trust, even if the conservation organization is not responsible for permanent easement of land. Any such conservation organizations that do not meet the definition of approved land trusts must be approved through the Dialogue prior to certification.
The number of required volunteer hours:
  • Shall be the greater of 200 hours, or 5 hours per full time equivalent (FTE) of the non-profit.
  • May be accumulated by immediate members of the non-profit community, including employees, board members, or direct recipients of the non-profit’s services (such as students or clients).
Documentation:
I03-a Technical Documentation.

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