Nature Conservancy of Canada and TD Forests help protect forests for species at risk

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Endangered Canada lynx, endangered mainland Nova Scotia moose, wood turtles and other at risk species are being supported through five new forest conservation projects. The sites, totalling 2,142 acres (867 hectares) of forest have been saved across Canada through a partnership between the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and TD Bank Group (TD). The announcement was made as part of National Forest Week (Sept 21 – 27).

The sites, located in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador were protected in part thanks to the TD Forests program and provide habitat for some of Canada's most threatened species. Conservation work will continue this fall with additional properties to be protected.

Since the program launch in 2012, NCC has protected over 32,000 acres (12,950 hectares) in six different forest habitat types. TD's five-year contribution is the largest corporate commitment in NCC's history.

Quotes

"Forests support a rich diversity of plant and animal life that relies on a healthy ecosystem to thrive. Among their many roles, forests purify water, regulate and cool climate, absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and provide habitat and shelter for countless species," said John Lounds, President and CEO with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. And with Canada being home to 10 per cent of the world's forests, we sometimes take them for granted,".

 "More than 90 percent of Canadians have said forests are important to them, and for good reason," says Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD. "Forests form the backdrop of our communities, where we live, work and play - and they perform an essential role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures. As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent. That's why we made protecting critical forest habitat a key pillar of TD Forests."

Newly Protected Properties:

St. Fintans, NL: 600 acres (243 hectare) of Northern shield boreal forest in western Newfoundland featuring 200 year old trees.  The property also surrounds a river with Atlantic salmon and supports habitat for threatened Newfoundland marten.

Halls Hill, NB:  347 acres (140 hectares) of Acadian forest with red pine, red maple, balsam fir and birch trees in the Chignecto Isthmus, the only route for terrestrial wildlife to move in and out of Nova Scotia connecting it to the rest of North America.  The Chignecto Isthmus provides habitat for endangered Canada lynx and moose which are endangered in mainland Nova Scotia. It also known as the Nature Conservancy of Canada's "Moose Sex Corridor Project".

Mount Foster, QU: 326 acres (132 hectares) in Quebec's Green Mountains, about 30 kilometers near the town of Sutton.  It provides habitat for numerous species at risk, including wood turtle, Bicknell's thrush, and green mountain maidenhair fern. This Appalachian mixed forest has sugar maple, beech, white ash, eastern hemlock, yellow birch trees. It is one of the last regions where extensive wilderness remains relatively intact in southern Quebec.

Powder Island, ON : 399 acres (161.5 hectares). Located in the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, less than one kilometer off the coast of Lake Superior near Rossport.  Northern Shield boreal forest with white spruce, jack pine and balsam fir trees.

Near Leduc, AB : 478 acres (193 hectares) of mixed wood boreal forest located in the Upper North Saskatchewan River Basin includes stands of  aspen, balsam poplar, paper birch, tamarack, white and black spruce.  The property also features a herd of 40 elk.

For more information on each of the projects, please visit: www.natureconservancy.ca/celebrateforests.

Learn More:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres (over 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. For more information visit: www.natureconservancy.ca

Launched in 2012, TD Forests is a major conservation initiative built around two pillars – reduce (paper use) and grow (forested areas). The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been engaged in the "grow" pillar to increase the amount of forested lands protected and cared for in Canada and through its conservation partners in the U.S. TD and NCC are also engaging more Canadians in the mission to conserve our forests, which will safeguard not just the trees, but all the living things that rely on forested habitats. For more information, visit TD Forests.

Visit: www.natureconservancy.ca
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Media Interviews, photos and video available upon request.

SOURCE: Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information: Andrew Holland, National Media Relations Manager, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Andrew.Holland@natureconservancy.ca,1-877-231-4400 / 1-506-260-0469; Sarah Lawley, Senior Manager, TD Environment, TD Bank Group, Sarah.lawley@td.com, 416 983 1254

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