Environment Canada

Environment Canada

October 04, 2009 14:15 ET

The Government of Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada Conserve Valuable Habitat in Simcoe, Ontario

SIMCOE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 4, 2009) - Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice, today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful acquisition of the Monroe Landon Woods - 53 hectares of land near Simcoe, Ontario, secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program. As one of the major contributors, the Government of Canada invested $467,000 in this project.

"The Natural Areas Conservation Program represents an investment that will help to ensure a healthy future for habitats and species at risk," said Minister Finley. "Such programs demonstrate the productive relationship between the Government of Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and other partners working to conserve and protect the environment and wildlife."

Monroe Landon was a self-taught naturalist and conservationist. He bought this parcel of land in 1937, and he and his family have left it largely untouched for more than 72 years. With the support of his family, the Monroe Landon Woods is one of the Nature Conservancy of Canada's newest conservation achievements.

"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 Minister Prentice. "The Monroe Landon Woods is located within one of the most biologically diverse regions in Canada and is one of the two areas containing the highest densities of species at risk in the country. We are committed to conserving biological diversity and to working with partners, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, to protect Canada's natural treasures."

"We are inspired by the Landon family who have stewarded this land for generations," said John Lounds, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada. "They have left a legacy and a remarkable example of conservation for generations to come."

The Government of Canada's 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 2009, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program more than 336 properties totaling more than 103,660 hectares had been acquired, protecting habitat for over 74 species at risk.


BACKGROUNDER

Natural Areas Conservation Program

In March 2007, as part of our commitment to conserve and protect Canada's natural environment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada will invest $225 million in the new Natural Areas Conservation Program. The Program helps non-profit, non-government organizations secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the protection of our diverse ecosystems, wildlife and habitat.

As of March 2009, 336 properties had been acquired through the program, protecting habitat for over 74 species at risk.

To carry out the objectives of the Program, the Government of Canada entered into an agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. As part of that agreement, the Nature Conservancy of Canada partners with non-government conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada and other qualified land trusts. These organizations must provide matching funds for each federal dollar received.

Using a science-based process, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners work to acquire ecologically sensitive lands through donation, purchase or stewardship agreements with private landowners.

Under the Program, priority is given to lands that are nationally or provincially significant, that protect habitat for species at risk and migratory birds, or that enhance connectivity or corridors between existing protected areas such as National Wildlife Areas, National Parks and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.

The Natural Areas Conservation Program complements the Government's other important conservation initiatives and investments, including:

- $110 million over two years for the work under the Species at Risk Act;

- $25 million over five years for the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy;

- $30 million for the Great Bear Rainforest;

- $3 million for Stanley Park in Vancouver and Point Pleasant Park in Halifax;

- Since 2007-2008 the Habitat Stewardship Program has invested $19 million to support over 350 local projects for the protection of species at risk and their habitat;

- Environment Canada's Protected Areas Network, made up of 51 National Wildlife Areas and 92 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries; and

- the Ecological Gifts Program, which provides tax incentives to landowners who donate land title or place a conservation easement on ecologically sensitive land. In its May 2006 budget, the Government of Canada increased the incentive for land donations by reducing the taxable capital gains inclusion rate for certified ecological gift donations from 25 per cent to zero.

The Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve our environment. It is expected to result in the long-term protection of up to more than 2,000 square kilometres of ecologically sensitive land across Canada.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    or
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008
    1-888-908-8008
    www.ec.gc.ca
    or
    Office of the Minister of Human Resources
    and Skills Development Canada
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482