Conserving Prairie Heritage

The Nature Conservancy of Canada protects home for species at risk

WINNIPEG, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Important habitat for Black Bear, Elk and Cougar has been protected through new conservation agreements signed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). The agreements, also known as easements, will protect four more properties in the Riding Mountain Aspen Parkland area. They total more than 800 acres (about 330 hectares), or the equivalent of five quarter sections of land.

The Riding Mountain Aspen Parkland represents one of the last remaining ecologically functional landscapes in prairie Canada. The species and habitats of northern, western and eastern Canada meet here. It is a transitional zone where prairie wildflowers give way to aspen parkland, which yields to highland evergreens and then to eastern hardwood forest. The four new protected properties contain rolling forested hills, meadows, valleys, streams and wetlands. This is vital to the survival of a long list of wildlife, including several at risk species such as Loggerhead Shrike, Golden-winged Warbler and Red-headed Woodpecker.

A number of partners have made possible the conservation and long-term care of these properties. The Government of Canada is providing support under the Natural Areas Conservation Program. The Government of Manitoba has also provided funding as part of a $7-million Conservation Program Grant that provides NCC's Manitoba Region with support for the protection of ecologically significant areas in the province.

Quotes "In the Manitoba Region, NCC is working hard to protect some of the last natural cover in the area around Riding Mountain National Park. By protecting irreplaceable habitat and the plants and animals that it supports, we can ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy its natural beauty." Ursula Goeres, Manitoba Regional Vice President.

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's $225-million 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 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."

"We are pleased to partner with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Government of Canada in preserving this unique environment," said Manitoba Minister of Conservation Bill Blaikie. "Future generations will be able to appreciate the beautiful landscape and varied wildlife in this region, thanks to the good work that is being done today."

Facts

  • Large mammals such as Elk, wolves and Moose regularly move through lands surrounding Riding Mountain National Park. These protected lands will give them more room to survive and thrive.
  • The Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve is one of only 15 United Nations Biosphere Reserves in Canada.
  • The Manitoba Region has now conserved more than 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares) of our natural heritage for future generations.

Learn More

  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading 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. 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. To join NCC's force for nature visit: www.natureconservancy.ca
  • The Natural Areas Conservation Program is a $225-million investment by the Government of Canada to assist non-profit, non-government organizations such as NCC secure ecologically sensitive lands. This ensures the conservation of our diverse ecosystems, wildlife and habitat. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has committed to matching each federal dollar at least one for one with private donations. This long-term on-the-ground initiative will result in the conservation of more than 2,000 square kilometres across Canada.

For more information (including map and photos) visit: http://tinyurl.com/6yhn29m

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information:

Ursula Goeres
Manitoba Regional Vice President
Nature Conservancy of Canada
1-866-683-6934
Ursula.Goeres@natureconservancy.ca

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Nature Conservancy of Canada

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