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Engagement Community Engagement

Directly Affected Groups

TDC Conservation Area landowners

In even the most successful American programs, very few people actually participate. Despite the need for general buy-in from the community for the program to get it launched and formalized in policy, those actually participating or who are directly affected are a very small subset of the population. It goes without saying that engaging these community members  becomes critical for a program’s success.

Although driven by conservation goals and planning, the siting of TDC Conservation Areas in reality tends to be a mix of conservation priority and acceptability of the local landowners. Before making final decisions on the location of TDC Conservation Areas, it is therefore important to engage the people in the area being considered. An ideal location with 0% potential for landowner participation is less useful than am 80%-ideal location with an 80% likelihood of landowner participation. Similarly, if only 10% of local landowners are in favour or participating, but they represent the target TDC Conservation Area, the program has ‘full’ support.

On-going engagement is critical for these landowners, as there are different phases to their potential participation, which may spread over years. The information and support they need changes as they transition from simply being in a TDC Conservation Area, to applying for credits, to validating credits, to selling some/all credits, to placing a title restriction, etc.

Finally, although one would hope new landowners in a TDC Conservation Area are aware of the existence of the program and the impact it may already have had on their land parcel, this may not be the case. Contacting new landowners to make them aware of these things can be critical for a program that may be conceived to operate for many decades.


As noted in the TDC Development Area section, the conservation discussions tend to drive TDC program initiation, but the development activity drives program operation.  Homework undertaken by a municipality to understand development pressures, market conditions, existing/potential opportunities are all critical for a municipality designing a TDC program, especially when it comes to determining the number of available credits and the credit transfer ratios. However, all of those calculations needs to be ‘ground truthed’ with the local development community to gauge whether they truly are workable.

Engaging local developers (i.e., any developer working in (or likely to work in) the community is the best path to answering questions such as which developers are actually likely to get involved, and which bonus opportunities are truly attractive. The Brandywine Conservancy in Pennsylvania developed a workshop process that engages local developers in working through plausible scenarios to determine what credit prices are likely to emerge in different circumstances.


Miistakis Reports

Government of Alberta


Web Resources

Support Organizations and Consultants

Did we miss an important resource? If you know of a publication, web site, or other resource that should be here, please contact us.

Also, check out our full list of TDC Resources.