A 98-acre critical wetland habitat conserved in Red Deer River Natural Area

RED DEER, AB, Sept. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - If bird watching is your favourite pastime, you may want to venture out with your camera in tow to one of the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC) newest properties near Red Deer.

A recent acquisition by NCC in the Red Deer River Natural Area is being celebrated by conservation supporters, the public and nature lovers alike. NCC recently conserved the Boote Property, an area known for its highly productive wetlands, with the support of the Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program, TransCanada Corporation and US Fish and Wildlife.

The 98-acre (40-hectare) Boote property was identified by NCC as a priority for conservation. A significant portion of the property is a wetland complex, providing habitat for many species of ducks and other waterfowl, migratory shorebirds and other wildlife. The gently undulating topography and diverse habitat favours abundant is located within an area commonly called "the prairie pothole region of Canada", this property is an important staging and breeding area for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds and wildlife such as Mule Deer, Coyote, Moose and Red-tailed Hawk.

The Red Deer River Natural Area is a biologically-rich landscape composed of three distinct ecosystems: prairie pothole wetlands, woodlands and tame forage. In the wetlands, waterfowl such as Redhead, Bufflehead, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup and Common Goldeneye are attracted to the semi-permanent wetlands and lush vegetation.

The property is located 10 kilometres east of the City of Red Deer and 1.6 kilometers west of Pine Lake, a provincially designated Environmentally Significant Area. The Parkland Natural Region also contains Buffalo Lake and Goosequill/Hummock Lakes. The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program is a unique public-private partnership helps non-government organizations secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the protection of our country's diverse ecosystems, wildlife and habitat.

QUOTES

"This property is an ecologically significant landscape in the Red Deer Natural Area. The Boote property is a great conservation success - 98 acres, mostly wetlands, which countless species depend on," said Bob Demulder, Regional Vice President of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Alberta Region. "With the support of the Government of Canada and partners such as TransCanada Corporation, we can continue to conserve critical landscapes in Alberta."

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program. With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations," said Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent. "Your actions today will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that will constitute an integral part of our natural heritage tomorrow."

"TransCanada is proud to join the Nature Conservancy of Canada's work to advance the long-term conservation and stewardship of healthy native parkland in the Red Deer River Natural Area," said Dean Cowling, Vice-President, Community, Safety and Environment, TransCanada. "Environmental stewardship is integral to all aspects of our business and TransCanada believes we have a responsibility to protect the environment for future generations."

FACTS

  • In protecting Environmentally Significant Areas such as this, NCC - with the help of our partners, is building a significant conservation area - one that gives species the room to move, survive and thrive.
  • In 2009, TransCanada Corporation made a milestone investment of $2.4 million from TransCanada to support the Nature Conservancy of Canada's work. This is TransCanada's largest community investment to-date. It will leverage as much as $9 million in funding to conserve the most critical areas of biodiversity in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

EVENTS

For those in the Red Deer area that would like to get to know the Boote property - there will be an opportunity volunteers to participate in stewardship activities in taking down an old fence, pulling invasive weeds, hiking around the property and bird watching on September 15. To register, visit the Conservation Volunteers website at: http://www.conservationvolunteers.ca.

LEARN MORE

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading private land conservation organization, working to protect our valuable natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares), coast to coast and more than 180,000 acres in Alberta. By investing in conservation we are ensuring that our natural world remains a home for wildlife, a haven for recreation and a vital resource that cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink. Through strong partnerships NCC works to safeguard our natural areas so that our children and grandchildren will have the chance to enjoy them. For more information: www.natureconservancy.ca

With more than 60 years experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities. TransCanada's network of wholly owned natural gas pipelines extends more than 57,000 kilometres (35,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with approximately 380 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns, or has interests in, over 10,800 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. TransCanada is developing one of North America's largest oil delivery systems. TransCanada's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP. For more information visit: www.transcanada.com or follow us on Twitter @TransCanadaPR.

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information:

Kara Tersen
Director, Development & Communications - Alberta Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada
403.613.0262
kara.tersen@natureconservancy.ca

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