Partnerships Protect Greenspace



    McGuinty Government Invests In Healthier Environment

    TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - Two thousand hectares of ecologically
significant land has been protected thanks to partnerships between Ontario and
conservation groups. The province has invested $5 million this year to protect
private land worth more than $17 million.
    The ministry works with partners to protect vital habitat on private land
through purchase, donation or agreement. By providing support that partners
must at least match, the province ensures public funds save as much private
land as possible in key natural areas. Partnerships also make the most of the
knowledge and fund-raising skills of conservation groups.
    Ontario supports the efforts of almost 100 groups to protect land. The
province's primary partners play a major role in securing land and make
provincial funding available to other groups. The primary partners are:

    
    -  The Nature Conservancy of Canada
    -  Ducks Unlimited Canada
    -  The Ontario Land Trust Alliance
    

    QUOTES

    "I want to protect natural areas such as wetlands, forests and sand dunes
because they help us fight climate change, protect threatened animals and
plants, and keep the environment healthy," said Minister of Natural Resources
Donna Cansfield.
    "This dynamic partnership has allowed NCC to do what we do best - work
directly with private landowners to build a network of protected areas that
conserve unique and rare habitat across the province," said James Duncan of
the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
    "By working with Ontario and other conservation partners to provide a
future for wetlands and other wild areas, we are able to showcase the
incredible range of environmental benefits these important habitats provide,"
said Ron Maher of Ducks Unlimited Canada.
    "MNR is helping land trusts act locally now so we all benefit in future.
Saving the land we love now will lead to a healthy environment our
grandchildren will enjoy," said April Weppler, Chair of the Ontario Land Trust
Alliance.

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -  Ontario's $50 million of funding over the last 10 years has helped
       protect almost 40,000 hectares of land worth $100 million.
    -  Some of the lands secured through partnerships since April 2007 that
       include habitat for species at risk are:
       -  Paradise Island off the north shore of Lake Superior
       -  Coveney's Hill on the Bruce Peninsula
       -  Point Abino Peninsula near Fort Erie.
    

    LEARN MORE

    More information on how Ontario helps protect natural areas. (link to
backgrounder)
    Want to get involved in responsible land care? Check out Ontario
Stewardship and its community councils.
    Find out what Ontario is doing to fight climate change - and how you can
help.
    Discover how the Bruce Trail Conservancy is protecting land on the
Niagara Escarpment.
    Learn more about Ontario's Species at Risk.

    
                           Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         LAND SECUREMENT PARTNERSHIPS
    

    Partnership Agreements

    In 2006, the Ministry of Natural Resources signed five-year partnership
agreements to secure important natural areas with the Nature Conservancy of
Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.
    These agreements enable the ministry to support the efforts of partners
across Ontario, including land trusts, conservation authorities, 
non-government organizations and municipalities.
    Through the ministry's partnerships and competitive funding programs,
each partner matches or exceeds the funds provided by the ministry to buy
properties. In some cases landowners donate all or part of their land.
Landowners may also volunteer to have conservation easements places on the
title to their land. A conservation easement is voluntarily donated or sold by
the landowner. It consists of a legally binding agreement attached to the land
title that limits certain types of uses or prevents development from taking
place on the land while it remains in private hands.
    The management and long-term stewardship of the lands is carried out by
the partner involved, the Ministry of Natural Resources or local partners such
as conservation authorities. The partners also contribute their science and
land management expertise and work with the ministry to identify priority
areas, negotiate land purchases and ensure long-term conservation.

    KEY PARTNERS

    Nature Conservancy of Canada: A non-profit, non-advocacy organization
that takes a business-like approach to land conservation and the preservation
of biological diversity. Since 1962, the organization and its supporters have
protected close to more than 800,000 hectares of ecologically significant land
nationwide.
    Ducks Unlimited Canada: A private, not-for-profit, Canadian organization.
Since 1938, it has conserved, restored and managed wetlands and associated
habitats for the benefit of waterfowl, other wildlife and people. The
organization undertakes habitat conservation, research, education and
fundraising activities.
    Ontario Land Trust Alliance: A registered charity with a mandate to
encourage the land trust movement throughout Ontario.

    FUNDING ALLOCATION FOR 2007-2008

    The ministry has allocated $5.62 million for land securement in the
    2007-2008 fiscal year:

    
    -  $5.47 million has been granted to the three key partners:
       -  $4.219 million to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for the
          Greenlands, Ontario Parks, Eastern Habitat Joint Venture and
          Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem
          programs
       -  $1.07 million to Ducks Unlimited Canada for the Eastern Habitat
          Joint Venture program and Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the
          Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem
       -  $180,000 to the Ontario Land Trust Alliance for the Ontario Land
          Trust Assistance Program.
    

    The Ministry of Natural Resources Land Securement Program

    Land securement includes buying lands, acquiring the title to lands
through donations, or holding conservation easements or agreements. In 2006,
the ministry's various land securement programs were consolidated to allow for
a more strategic and coordinated approach. The consolidated program currently
includes:

    
    -  Ontario Parks Program: Acquires lands to expand existing provincial
       parks and conservation reserves, or create new ones
    -  Eastern Habitat Joint Venture: Secures and enhances wetlands and
       associated habitats for migratory birds and includes conservation
       agreements with private landowners
    -  Greenlands Program: Includes both direct securement of properties that
       are joint priorities for the ministry and the Nature Conservancy of
       Canada, and a competitive funding program for other agencies known as
       the Greenlands Challenge
    -  Ontario Land Trust Assistance Program: A competitive funding program
       that assists land trusts with securement costs
    -  Landbird Conservation Program (an expansion of the Eastern Habitat
       Joint Venture): Secures and enhances significant upland bird habitats
    -  Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem:
       Secures lands to further the vision of a healthy, prosperous and
       sustainable Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem for present and future
       generations.

    Eligibility Criteria for Land Securement Program

    To be considered for the land securement program, proposed properties
    must meet a range of criteria. Some examples of criteria are:

    -  Creating new, or adding to existing, conservation lands such as
       provincial parks or conservation areas
    -  Advancing the mutual objectives of the ministry and its conservation
       partners
    -  Containing ecosystems that are representative of Ontario's natural
       heritage regions
    -  Having significant biodiversity attributes and ecological functions
       that contribute to the long-term environmental health and
       sustainability of Ontario
    -  Protecting significant elements of the province's natural and cultural
       heritage (for example, Great Lakes ecosystems such as wetlands).
    -  Helping to maintain Ontario's biodiversity
    -  Being part of a long-term strategic and landscape-level conservation
       plan.

    Ken Cain, Land Securement Program, 705-755-2140; ontario.ca/natural-
    resources-news

                           Disponible en français
    
    


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE UNDER
                    MNR LAND SECUREMENT PROGRAM 2007/2008

    1. Properties Identified Through Nature Conservancy of Canada Partnership
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Agency                                                 Natural
    Holding       Natural               Securement  Area   Heritage
    Title         Area       Location   Method      (ha)   Values
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Georgian Bay  Eastern                                  1. Species At
     Land Trust    Georgian  Georgian                      Risk habitat 2.
                   Bay Coast  Bay       Purchase    179.3  Important
                                                           spawning habitat
                                                           3. Old Growth
                                                           Forest
                                                           4. Extensive
                                                           emergent
                                                           shoreline meadow
                                                           marsh 5. Rare
                                                           habitat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Niagara       Point      Regional                      1. Provincially
     Peninsula     Abino      Muncipal-                    significant
     Conserva-     Peninsula  ity of    Purchase     40.0  wetland 2.
     tion                     Niagara                      Important Bird
     Authority                                             Area 3. Species
                                                           at Risk habitat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Frontenac  Township                      1. Natural Area
     Conservancy   Axis       of South  Purchase    444.7  Conservation Plan
     of Canada                Frontenac                    priority. 2. Rare
                                                           habitat 3.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem
                                                           function
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Happy      York                          1. Area of
     Conservancy   Valley     Region    Purchase     15.0  Natural and
     of Canada     Forest                                  Scientific
                                                           Interest 2.
                                                           Species at Risk
                                                           habitat 3.
                                                           Adjacent
                                                           conservation
                                                           lands
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ministry of   Wagosh     Township                      1. Area of
     Natural       Bay        of                           Natural and
     Resources                Cockburn  Purchase    117.0  Scientific
                              Island                       Interest 2.
                                                           Adjacent to
                                                           conservation
                                                           lands 3. Species
                                                           at Risk habitat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Lower      Huron                         1. Area of
     Conservancy   Maitland   County                       Natural and
     of Canada     River                Purchase     59.5  Scientific
                   Valley                                  Interest 2. Great
                                                           Lakes
                                                           Conservation
                                                           Blueprint
                                                           priority site 3.
                                                           Lower Maitland
                                                           River Valley
                                                           Natural Area
                                                           Conservation Plan
                                                           Priority 4.
                                                           Species at Risk
                                                           habitat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Happy      York                          1. Happy Valley
     Conservancy   Valley     Region                       Forest Natural
     of Canada     Forest               Purchase     40.5  Area Conservation
                                                           Plan priority. 2.
                                                           Rare habitat 3.
                                                           Species at Risk
                                                           habitat 4.
                                                           Adjacent
                                                           conservation
                                                           lands
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Northern   Municipal-                    1. Species at Risk
     Conservancy   Bruce      ity of                       habitat 2. Area of
     of Canada     Peninsula  Northern  Purchase     31.3  Natural and
                              Bruce                        Scientific
                              Peninsula                    Interest 3.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
                                                           4. Aquatic &
                                                           Terrestrial
                                                           Conservation
                                                           Blueprint priority
                                                           5. Northern Bruce
                                                           Peninsula Natural
                                                           Area Conservation
                                                           Plan priority 6.
                                                           Rare habitat 7.
                                                           Adjacent to
                                                           conservation lands
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Western    Pelee                         1. Rare habitat 2.
     Conservancy   Lake Erie  Island                       Species at Risk
     of Canada     Islands              Donation     15.0  habitat 3.
                                                           Adjacent
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           4. Connectivity
                                                           and ecosystem
                                                           function
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Frontenac  Township                      1. Ontario Parks
     Conservancy   Axis       of Leeds                     priority
     of Canada                and the   Donated     114.9  acquisition site
                              Thousand   Easement          2. Provincially
                              Islands                      significant
                                                           wetland 3. Species
                                                           at Risk habitat 4.
                                                           Great Lakes
                                                           Conservation
                                                           Blueprint site 5.
                                                           Globally rare
                                                           habitat 6.
                                                           Adjacent to
                                                           conservation lands
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nature        Napanee    Twp of                        1. Area of Natural
     Conservancy   Plain      Tyendinaga,                  and Scientific
     of Canada                County of                    Interest 2.
                              Hastings  Donation     20.0  Wetland 3.
                                                           Adjacent
                                                           conservation lands
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                          1077.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    2. Properties Identified Under the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture with
       Ducks Unlimited Canada
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Agency                                                 Natural
    Holding       Natural               Securement  Area   Heritage
    Title         Area       Location   Method      (ha)   Values
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ducks         Camden     Township                      1. Adjacent to
     Unlimited     Lake       of                           conservation lands
     Canada                   Richmond,                    2. Provincially
                              Lennox    Donation     16.2  significant
                              and                          wetland and EHJV
                              Addington                    priority site
                              County
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grand River   Dunnville  Moulton                       1. Wetland
     Conservation  Marsh      Township, Purchase     59.0  (provincially
     Authority                Haldimand                    significant,
                              County                       locally
                                                           significant) 2.
                                                           Area of Natural
                                                           and Scientific
                                                           Interest 3.
                                                           Protection of
                                                           important spawning
                                                           habitat 4.
                                                           Adjacent to
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           5. Great Lakes
                                                           Conservation
                                                           Blueprint priority
                                                           site
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grand River   Dunnville  Moulton                       1. Wetland
     Conservation  Marsh      Township, Purchase     17.0  (provincially
     Authority                Haldimand                    significant,
                              County                       locally
                                                           significant) 2.
                                                           Area of Natural
                                                           and Scientific
                                                           Interest 3.
                                                           Protection of
                                                           important spawning
                                                           habitat 4.
                                                           Adjacent to
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           5. Great Lakes
                                                           Conservation
                                                           Blueprint priority
                                                           site
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                            92.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    3. Properties Submitted by Other Partners Through Greenlands Challenge
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Agency                                                 Natural
    Holding       Natural               Securement  Area   Heritage
    Title         Area       Location   Method      (ha)   Values
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Long Point    Long       Houghton                      1. Provincially
     Basin Land    Point      Township, Purchase    73.25  significant
     Trust                    Norfolk                      wetland 2. Species
                              County                       at Risk habitat 3.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
                                                           4. Under-
                                                           represented
                                                           habitat (forest
                                                           interior)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Simcoe   Beaverton  Township                      1. Provincially
     Region        River      of Brock                     significant
     Conservation  Wetland              Purchase     20.2  wetland 2.
     Authority                                             Adjacent
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           3. Connectivity
                                                           and ecosystem
                                                           function 4.
                                                           Species at Risk
                                                           habitat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Simcoe   Beaverton  Township                      1. Provincially
     Region        River      of Brock                     significant
     Conservation  Wetland              Purchase        7  wetland 2.
     Authority                                             Adjacent
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           3. Connectivity
                                                           and ecosystem
                                                           function 4.
                                                           Species at Risk
                                                           habitat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bruce Trail   Coveney's  Albermarle,                   1. Species at risk
     Association   Hill       Town of                      habitat 2. Wetland
                              South     Purchase    116.4  3. Bruce trail
                              Bruce                        optimum route 4.
                              Peninsula                    Adjacent
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           5. UNESCO
                                                           Biosphere Reserve
                                                           Site (Niagara
                                                           Escarpment) 6.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bruce Trail   Grindstone East                          1. Area of Natural
     Association   Creek      Flambor-                     and Scientific
                              ough,     Purchase      7.5  Interest 2.
                              City of                      Adjacent to
                              Burlington                   conservation lands
                                                           3. Bruce trail
                                                           optimum route 4.
                                                           Potential habitat
                                                           for Species at
                                                           Risk 5. UNESCO
                                                           Biosphere Reserve
                                                           Site (Niagara
                                                           Escarpment)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central Lake  Long       Municipal-                    1. Adjacent to
     Ontario       Sault      ity of    Purchase     22.6  conservation
     Conservation             Clarington                   lands 2. High
     Authority                                             restoration
                                                           potential 3. Area
                                                           of Natural and
                                                           Scientific
                                                           Interest 4.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
                                                           5. Environmentally
                                                           sensitive area
                                                           designation
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kawartha      East Cross Township of                   1. Adjacent to
     Conservation  Forest     Scugog                       conservation
                              (formerly                    lands 2. Species
                              Cart-     Purchase    103.4  at risk habitat 3.
                              wright),                     Under-represented
                              Region of                    community type
                              Durham
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Simcoe   Black      Town of                       1. Provincially
     Region        River      Georgina  Purchase       14  significant
     Conservation                                          wetland 2.
     Authority                                             Adjacent
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           3. Municipal
                                                           designation
                                                           (Environmentally
                                                           Sensitive Area) 4.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thunder Bay   Paradise   North                         1. Area of Natural
     Field         Island     central                      and Scientific
     Naturalists              Lake      Purchase       28  Interest 2. Rare
                              Superior,                    and under-
                              Paradise                     represented
                              Island                       habitat 3. Species
                                                           at risk habitat 4.
                                                           Adjacent
                                                           conservation lands
                                                           5.Great Lakes
                                                           conservation
                                                           blueprint priority
                                                           site
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grand River   Melancthon Melancthon                    1. Provincially
     Conservation  Source     Township,                    significant
     Authority     Area       Dufferin  Purchase     40.4  wetland 2.
                              County                       Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
                                                           3. Municipal
                                                           environmental
                                                           designation
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Credit Valley Credit     Town of                       1. Provincially
     Conservation  River      Caledon,  Purchase     49.6  significant
                              Region of                    wetland 2.
                              Peel                         Municipal
                                                           environmental
                                                           designation 3.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                           482.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    4. Properties Submitted by Land Trusts Through Ontario Land Trust
       Assistance Program
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Agency                                                 Natural
    Holding       Natural               Securement  Area   Heritage
    Title         Area       Location   Method      (ha)   Values
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Georgian Bay  Gull and   Georgian                      1. Natural Area
     Land Trust    Gilead     Bay,                         Conservation Plan
                   Islands    Muskoka   Donation     14.8  priority site 2.
                                                           UNESCO Biosphere
                                                           Reserve site 3.
                                                           Species/communi-
                                                           ties of provincial
                                                           conservation
                                                           concern
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thames        Thames     West                          1. Natural Area
     Talbot Land   River      Elgin     Donation     44.5  Conservation Plan
     Trust                                                 priority site
                                                           2. Great Lakes
                                                           Conservation
                                                           Blueprint priority
                                                           site 3. Potential
                                                           habitat for
                                                           Species at Risk 4.
                                                           Species/communi-
                                                           ties of provincial
                                                           concern
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada South  Essex      Town of                       1. Great Lakes
     Land Trust    County     Kings-    Donation of        Conservation
                   Woodlands  ville,     Conserva-   59.9  Blueprint priority
                              County     tion              site 2.
                              of Essex   Easement          Species/Communi-
                                                           ties of global
                                                           conservation
                                                           concern 3. Habitat
                                                           for SAR 4.
                                                           Municipal
                                                           environmental
                                                           designation
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Muskoka       Pen Lake   Township                      1. Natural Area
     Heritage      Farms      of Lake                      Conservation Plan
     Trust         Nature     of Bays,                     priority site 2.
                   Reserve    District  Donation       49  Municipal
                              Municipal-                   Environmental
                              ity of                       Designation
                              Muskoka
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Couchiching   Grant      Fittons                       1. Municipal
     Conservancy   Wetlands   Road,     Donation      0.2  environmental
                   Reserve    Orillia                      designation
                                                           (Environmental
                                                           Protection) 2.
                                                           Important spawning
                                                           habitat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Couchiching   Boyd       North                         1. Potential
     Conservancy   Creek      Orillia   Donation     45.9  habitat for SAR
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Couchiching   Church     Oro-       Partial            1. Habitat for SAR
     Conservancy   Woods      Medonte    donation/   10.1  2.
                                         Partial           Species/communi-
                                         purchase          ties of provincial
                                                           conservation
                                                           concern
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Escarpment    White's    Northeast  Donation      2.6  1. Natural Area
     Biosphere     Point      Manitoulin                   Conservation Plan
     Conservancy                                           priority site 2.
                                                           Municipal
                                                           environmental
                                                           designation
                                                           (Environmental
                                                           Protection)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Escarpment    Mud        Mulmur                        1. UNESCO
     Biosphere     Creek      Township, Donation     42.1  Biosphere Reserve
     Conservancy              county of                    site (Niagara
                              Dufferin                     Escarpment) 2.
                                                           Niagara Escarpment
                                                           Plan area
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Escarpment    Saugeen    Municipal-                    1. Municipal
     Biosphere     River      ity of    Donation     23.5  environmental
     Conservancy              Brockton                     designation
                                                           (Environmental
                                                           Protection)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oak Ridges    Simcoe     Adjala,                       1. Habitat for SAR
     Moraine       County     Tosorontio                   2. Municipal
     Land Trust    Forest               Donation of        environmental
                                         Conserva-   10.3  designation (Oak
                                         tion Easement     Ridges Moraine
                                                           Natural Linkages
                                                           Area)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oak Ridges   Uxbridge    Township                      1. Habitat for SAR
     Moraine      Brook       of        Donation of        2. Species/
     Land Trust               Uxbridge   Conserva-   11.2  communities of
                                         tion Easement     provincial
                                                           conservation
                                                           concern 3.
                                                           Connectivity and
                                                           ecosystem function
                                                           (wetland complex
                                                           and close
                                                           proximity to
                                                           conservation
                                                           lands)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bruce Trail  Dyer's      Municipal-                    1. Bruce Trail
     Conservancy  Bay         ity of                       optimum route 2.
                              Northern                     Niagara Escarpment
                              Bruce     Purchase     28.3  Plan area 3. Great
                              Peninsula,                   Lakes
                              Bruce                        Conservation
                              County                       Blueprint priority
                                                           site 4. Potential
                                                           habitat for SAR 5.
                                                           Important Bird
                                                           Area 6. UNESCO
                                                           Biosphere Reserve
                                                           site (Niagara
                                                           Escarpment) 7.
                                                           Species/communi-
                                                           ties of provincial
                                                           conservation
                                                           concern
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                           342.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ken Cain, Land Securement Program, (705) 755-2140

                      ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
                           Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Alia Kamlani, Minister's Office, (416)
327-0654; Jolanta Kowalski, Communications Services Branch, (416) 314-2106,
ontario.ca/natural-resources-news

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