Environment Canada

Environment Canada

October 07, 2010 13:24 ET

Government of Canada and Nature Conservancy of Canada Preserve Precious Habitat in the Outaouais

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2010) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Minister of the Environment, today joins Quebec's delegate Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife (MRNF), the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the National Capital Commission to mark the Nature Conservancy of Canada's acquisition of a 477-hectare property in the Outaouais for biodiversity conservation and species protection. This project was guaranteed in part by funding obtained under Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program, and has a total budget of $685,000.

"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 Prentice. "Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

"This acquisition represents specific action by our government to preserve wildlife habitats. The protection of biodiversity and natural landscapes, and the restoration of wetlands are among the MRNF's priorities. These actions also help maintain economic and social activity in the regions, because they allow the public to benefit from these outdoor areas," noted Serge Simard, delegate Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife.

"The long-term protection of this large forested area is the reflection of a solid partnership at the local and regional levels. It also allows us to leave a precious natural heritage to our children and grandchildren," added Nathalie Zinger, Regional Vice-President of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The property, which covers nearly 5 square kilometers, is located directly on the northwest edge of Gatineau Park. This natural setting is representative of the forest ecosystems of the hills of the Outaouais. The property is composed of a forest mosaic, with several wetlands scattered through it and a few bodies of water. The acquisition of this property will favour the development of ecological corridors, in accordance with the priorities of the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan.

The National Capital Commission, which manages Gatineau Park, contributes financially to the management fund for this property. "The acquisition of this property is an example of cooperation for environmental protection. The ecological corridors foreseen in the Gatineau Park Ecosystems Conservation Plan create areas of natural continuity to support ecosystems and species protection," said Marie Lemay, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission. "Our contribution to the management fund underscores our commitment to the preservation of Gatineau Park."

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 July 2010, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program, over 138 800 hectares (342 982 acres) had been secured, protecting habitat for over 79 species at risk.

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