Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 28, 2010 15:19 ET

Government of Canada and Partners Conserve Valuable Habitat Near Kingston, Ontario

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2010) - Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, announced today that the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other partners successfully acquired the Freeman property within the Frontenac Arch Natural Area—232 hectares (590 acres) of natural land near Kingston, Ontario.

"Since the inception of the Natural Areas Conservation Program in 2007, we have been working with our partners to acquire land that will benefit our ecosystems and protect habitat for sensitive species. I am proud to announce yet another successful acquisition that furthers the goal of conserving our natural heritage and wildlife over the long term," said Minister Prentice.

The Freeman property is within the Frontenac Arch Natural Area and features extremely rugged terrain with shallow soils, high domed granite and metamorphic ridges. The property is a mix of heavily forested areas dominated by species such as the Sugar Maple, White Ash, Red Oak and White Oak as well as a number of large wetlands including shallow lakes, beaver ponds, and wooded swamps. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)-listed species identified from the property include Common Musk Turtle, Eastern Ratsnake, and Butternut.

"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."

"The Frontenac Arch is the only place in Canada where Oak-Hickory Forests grow on the Canadian Shield. The Freeman property is an outstanding example of the Arch's characteristic forests and supports many species at risk including Butternut, Five-lined Skink (Eastern Canada's only lizard), Cerulean Warbler and Eastern Ratsnake," said Gary Bell, Program Manager, Eastern Ontario, Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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. As of July 2010, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program, over 138,800 hectares (342,982 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/.

(Également offert en français)

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