Saving Canada for Canada Day
Just in time for Canada Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has announced several new protected areas.
Almost 2,700 acres (1,092 hectares) along the northern shore of Lake Erie has been protected in Ontario. Known as Turkey Point Marsh, the area is part of the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve. It is a biologically diverse region containing coastal wetlands, sand dunes and sand spits which supports over 60 at-risk species such as the snapping turtle and the Eastern foxsnake. The conservation agreement which protects this land allows sustainable hunting and fishing while protecting wetland and prohibiting further development.
Out west, 2,610-acres (1,056 hectares) of Chinook Ranch in the Bow Natural Area of Alberta is newly protected. Much of Chinook Ranch is already protected thanks to a conservation easement with the NCC which was completed in 2010. All together, the property is almost 5000 acres in size. Securing this land for conservation helps many species of moose, deer, and bear as well as a wide variety of birds.
Additionally, 160 acres (64 hectares) of sand dune habitat is now protected. Located about nine miles west of Brandon, the property is a gift from a private Canadian family. The land features sandhill grasslands, Aspen forest and shrubs such as hazel and choke cherry. Endangered plant species such as the Smooth Goosefoot and the Hairy Prairie Clover are also now protected within this region.
In total, the NCC has protected over 7,870 acres (3,185 hectares) of Canadian wilderness and natural habitat this Canada Day. The new protected areas are possible thanks to gifts from Canadians across the country and support from the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program.