Gargantua Islands

Date:Apr 30, 2013

LSWC is excited to announce the acquisition of two special parcels of lands and 20 islands off the coast of Lake Superior Provincial Park at Gargantua.

Through the facilitation of LSWC, a total of 128 acres of 20 pristine islands, off the coast of Lake Superior Provincial Park, were preserved through a landmark “cross border” gift to American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts. The largest of these is Nanabijou’s Island (was known as Devil’s Warehouse Island). The archipelago contains hight natural and cultural heritage values. With nesting Perigrine Falcons, and arctic alpine plants, these undeveloped pristine islands also have a great scenic and recreational value for paddlers, hikers, and backcountry campers.

Through the years, many people assumed the islands were part of the Lake Superior Provincial Park. Since the early 1900’s, the archipelago was owned by an American. The great great grandfather of the present generation was a lawyer in Detroit. A client could not pay his bill for services rendered so the client deeded the islands to the lawyer for payment.

The deed was passed to the great grandfather, to father, to mother, then to the present three sons.

When the three sons decided to dispose of the islands, LSWC, being a “donee” of American Friends, arranged for them to gift this impressive property to American Friends so that their donation would be tax deductible in the U.S. Stewardship of the islands is the responsibility of Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy.

American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts is a U.S. charity created to facilitate the permanent protection of Canadian lands owned by conservation-minded Americans. Until very recently, Americans hoping to conserve properties they own in Canada were thwarted by tax barriers created by both U.S. and Canadian laws. Significant problems could arise if cross-border conservation gifts are not handled properly.

American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (AF) is a U.S. based publically supported 501 (c) 3 charity which allows U.S. taxpayers to benefit from tax incentives aimed at protecting environmentally significant land. The cross border program created by American Friends, has two key elements to it.

First, the U.S. taxpayer received a charitable receipt which allow them to receive a U.S. tax deduction for the charitable gift. Seondly, based on AF’s status as a ‘prescribed donee’ under the Canadian Income Tax Act, the Canadian capital gains tax is eliminated. Thus, two major impediments to donations to environmental preservation are eliminated when donors work through American Friends.

Since LSWC is a donee of American Friends of Canadian Lands, the owners are able to receive a tax benefit in Canada and the U.S. for their donation.