First projects under TD Forests program
MONTREAL, Oct. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced the conservation of 765 acres (309 hectares) of exceptional forest habitat on Mount Burnt in the municipality of Sutton, along the Vermont border. This project was completed thanks to generous funding from TD Bank Group (TD) through the TD Forests program, the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, and conservation partners.
The Mount Burnt property fits into a landscape-scale conservation strategy targeting the creation of pathways that will prevent the isolation of the 25,000-acre (10,000-hectare) core area located in the Northern Green Mountains from the surrounding forested lands south of the Canada-U.S. border. The Green Mountains Natural Area links up with the Green Mountains of Vermont, and is one of the last regions of southern Quebec where extensive wilderness tracts remain relatively intact.
TD Forests is helping NCC to increase the amount of forest habitat protected and cared for, especially in southern Canada, where forests are most threatened by development. This is where the majority of Canadians live, competing for space with more than 80 percent of our terrestrial and freshwater species at risk.
Through this program, NCC and TD are also engaging Canadians in and connecting them to the mission of conserving our forested areas.
The Natural Areas Conservation Program is a unique public-private partnership. As of June 30, 2012, the Natural Areas Conservation Program had protected 835,637 acres (338,170 hectares) of habitat, which includes habitat for 126 species at risk.
NCC extends its thanks to all the financial partners who have contributed to the conservation of the property, particularly Quebec's Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Ministry, Open Space Conservancy, Inc. - an affiliate of the Open Space Institute, Inc., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy - Maine Chapter, and the Sweet Water Trust.
For more information about forest conservation and other TD Forests projects, please visit: www.natureconservancy.ca/celebrateforests.
"We are thankful for the generous support of TD and our other partners in this project who have all made an incredible commitment to conservation," remarked Nathalie Zinger, Regional Vice President, Quebec for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "Together, we are ensuring that Canada's incredible forests will be here for our children and grandchildren to cherish in years to come."
"Ninety percent of Canadians have said forests are important to them, and for good reason," says Karen Clarke-Whistler, TD's Chief Environment Officer. "Forests form the backdrop of our lives. They are where we work, live and play. Forests play an essential role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures, and are home to more than one-third of the plant and animal species in North America. As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent. That's why we made growing the area of protected forest habitat a key pillar of the TD Forests program."
"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program," said the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Minister of the Environment. "With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our country's ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations."
"NCC and its partners have taken another critical step to protect the forests and wildlife of the Green Mountains, a key linkage area of the Appalachian range. The Open Space Institute is very happy to support this project, as well as others in the Green Mountains, through the Transborder Land Protection Fund", said Jennifer Melville, grant and loan coordinator with the Open Space Institute.
- The vast areas of unfragmented forests in the region play an important role in maintaining viable populations of species that depend on large wilderness areas for their survival, such as black bear, bobcat and moose.
- The Northern Green Mountains region provides valuable habitat for 59 species at risk provincially or federally; it is also treasured for its concentration of lakes and its important wetlands, unrivalled anywhere in the Canadian portion of Appalachian range.
- The Mount Burnt property is prime habitat for threatened species including the spring salamander that lives in the mountain streams, and the Canada warbler that nests in hardwood forests.
- NCC is a leading stakeholder in Quebec undertaking the protection of such an extensive forested corridor. The organization has protected over 20,500 acres (8,400 hectares) within the last ten years in order to maintain large forest blocks that are able to sustain the area's wildlife population.
- The Nature Conservancy of Canada works in many forest ecosystems from coast to coast: from the Fog Forest of Newfoundland and Labrador, to the beautiful deciduous forest of the Carolinian Life Zone in southwestern Ontario; from aspen parkland in the prairie provinces, to lush rainforests on the west coast.
- Canada is home to 10 percent of the world's forests, covering one third of our country.
- Forests represent so much more than just trees. Each forest type supports a rich diversity of plant and animal life that relies on a healthy ecosystem to thrive.
- TD is a long-time supporter of NCC, especially through the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, which has supported many NCC community-based projects across the country.
- TD Bank Group announced The TD Forests Program in 2011. To learn more about this program visit: http://www.td.com/forests.
- Transborder Land Protection Fund, which provides grants for land conservation transactions, has been shaped by an emerging body of science that shows the need for larger and more connected protected areas, and for coordinated action between conservation organizations in Canada and the US.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) 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 2.6 million acres (more than 1 million hectares), coast to coast. To learn more visit: www.natureconservancy.ca/qc.
The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program is a $225 million investment to assist non-profit, non-government organizations to secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the conservation of our diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and habitat. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been entrusted to lead the program and has committed to raising matching funds for each federal dollar received.
Launched in 2012, TD Forests is a major conservation initiative built around two pillars - reduce (paper use) and grow (forested areas). The reduce pillar will focus on providing an increased selection of e-banking options for customers and on reducing paper usage in TD's business operations. The grow component of the initiative brings together TD's environment, community and employee programs related to forests and trees. These include TD Tree Days, TD Green Streets and local community initiatives, along with a major new conservation program conducted through the Nature Conservancy of Canada and The Nature Conservancy in the United States. This program focuses on increasing the area of protected forest habitat in North America. For more information, visit TD Forests.
INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.
Image with caption: "Looking onto the Mount Burnt property (photo by NCC) (CNW Group/Nature Conservancy of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121003_C3572_PHOTO_EN_18760.jpg
Image with caption: "The forested wildlife corridor at Mount Burnt (photo by NCC) (CNW Group/Nature Conservancy of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121003_C3572_PHOTO_EN_18758.jpg
Image with caption: "Looking out from the Mount Burnt property (photo by NCC) (CNW Group/Nature Conservancy of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121003_C3572_PHOTO_EN_18764.jpg
Image with caption: "Along the trail on the Mount Burnt property (photo by NCC) (CNW Group/Nature Conservancy of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121003_C3572_PHOTO_EN_18762.jpg
SOURCE: Nature Conservancy of Canada
For further information:
Elizabeth Sbaglia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications manager, Nature Conservancy of Canada - Quebec region
Tel. : 514 876-1606, ext. 240, 1 877 876-5444, ext. 240 or cell. : 514-996-4440