Environment Canada

Environment Canada

August 18, 2010 14:00 ET

Government of Canada and Nature Conservancy of Canada Conserve Valuable Habitat in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario

KAWARTHA LAKES, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2010) - Barry Devolin, Member of Parliament for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful acquisition of the Little Bluestem Alvar—264.66 hectares (654 acres) of land in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program. The Government of Canada is a major contributor in this project, which has an overall budget of $543,885.

"As part of the International Year of Biodiversity, we are continuing to demonstrate real action in conserving our ecosystems and protecting sensitive species," said MP Barry Devolin. "Today, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I am proud to be here with our partners to announce the acquisition of this ecologically-significant land."

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's 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 Minister Jim Prentice. "Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

The Little Bluestem is a large piece of the Carden Alvar property in the City of Kawartha Lakes. It is adjacent to Nature Conservancy of Canada's 678-acre Prairie Smoke Nature Reserve. It is a relatively undisturbed area and similar in composition to the Prairie Smoke property. The acquisition of Little Bluestem will create a 538-hectare (1330-acre) natural reserve, which increases the protection of one of Ontario's rarest landscapes. The property also provides habitat for a number of species at risk including the Blanding's Turtle, the Milksnake, and the Common Nighthawk.

"These Gifts to Canadians are tangible examples of what we are able to achieve by working together. By designing and managing networks of protected areas, we fulfill our national and global responsibility to protect Canada's natural treasures for the future," said John Lounds, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "What better way to celebrate our nation than by protecting the spectacular lands and wildlife that our country is known for around the world."

The Government of Canada's $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada's environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. It is through the ongoing contribution from all donors that we can ensure the protection of natural areas in Canada. As of March 2010, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program over 138,600 hectares (342,500 acres) have been secured, protecting habitat for over 79 species at risk.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

Egalement offert en français

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