In 1987, four Town of Brome Lake residents (Marc Decelles, Preben Mohr, Lawrence Jackson and Peter Wade), concerned about the town`s plans to destroy wetlands filtering water flowing into the lake, decided to establish a “Land Trust” to conserve wetlands and other sites in the Brome Lake region and protect it in perpetuity.
1987 was a boom year for TBL, and the town council had decided to remove all protection from ecological zones in order to re-route highway 243 onto a path through the wetlands of the Quilliams and McLaughlin streams and allow the proposed condos at 400 Lakeside an unobstructed view of the lake.
At about the same time, an ad appeared in the local paper offering for sale, 118 acres of wetlands surrounding the Quilliams stream. A group of 40 supporters contributed enough to purchase the Quilliams property. They soon acquired a Canadian charter as the Brome Lake Land Foundation…a new environment Foundation was born.
THE FOUNDATION TODAY
Over the years, BLLF has increased its land ownership to include 9 properties comprising 500 acres, mainly wetlands.
Recently, the Québec government has granted the BLLF “Nature Reserve” status for all its properties, strengthening protection and reducing taxes. While the public does not have access to most of our properties due to their ecological fragility, Fisher Woods is popular to skiers, hikers and nature-lovers, and the Quilliams reserve provides a popular Everglades-style route through wetlands for kayaks and canoes.
The Foundation has a Canadian charter and is rec- ognized as a charitable institution under Canadian and Quebec laws. Thus, donations of money and land are treated as charitable donations for tax purposes (land with ecological value enjoys special tax advantages).
LAND PROTECTED IN PERPETUITY
The letters patent stipulate that the land acquired by the BLLF is to be maintained in its natural state in perpetuity and cannot be sold. As of April 2013, all properties had been granted Nature Reserve status by the government of Quebec.
The Foundation consists primarily of sustaining members (life members) who have donated $500 or more. Ten are elected at our annual meeting to manage the Foundation. Others who offer support are kept on our mailing list as general members. Each year all members are encouraged to help cover operating costs.