Environment Canada

Environment Canada

May 20, 2010 13:30 ET

The Government of Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada Conserve Valuable Habitat in Manitoba's Aspen Parkland

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) - Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful securement of three separate properties in the Riding Mountain Aspen Parkland region. These properties consist of 462 hectares (1,142 acres) of land near Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program and had an overall budget of $352,880.

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program. During this important International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), I am pleased that the federal government is able to support worthwhile projects. 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. "Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

"Today's announcement shows our Government's commitment to conserving and protecting our environment for the benefit of all Canadians," said Inky Mark, Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River – Marquette. "The lands of the Aspen Parkland region project will continue to provide a healthy habitat where species can thrive and survive."

These properties are part of an ecologically significant area that is home to important plant and animal species at risk including the golden winged warbler, the red-headed woodpecker, the prairie loggerhead shrike, Sprague's pipit, the yellow rail, the short-eared owl, the northern leopard frog, the chestnut lamprey, the rusty blackbird, the common nighthawk, the chimney swift, the olive-sided flycatcher and the monarch butterfly.  

"The rolling, forested hills, meadows, lakes and wetlands of the Riding Mountain Aspen Parkland rise like an island of wilderness surrounded by a sea of agricultural development. Species and habitats of northern, western and eastern Canada meet here," said Ursula Goeres, Regional Vice President of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Manitoba Region. "The securement and long-term management of lands such as those recently protected is critical to the area's long term conservation." 

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 December 2009, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program over 127,662 hectares (315,459 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 http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

(Egalement offert en francais)

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