Nature Conservancy

Nature Conservancy

April 17, 2008 12:28 ET

Nature Conservancy of Canada Announces Important Land Acquisition in the Ottawa Valley

CLARENDON, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) - The Nature Conservancy of Canada is proud to announce the acquisition of an ecologically significant property in West Quebec in the Ottawa Valley. This exceptional project was made possible with support from the Government of Canada under the Natural Areas Conservation Program.

"The purchase of the Clarendon property marks the first conservation achievement in the Ottawa Valley under the Nature Conservancy of Canada - Government of Canada Natural Areas Conservation Program," says John Lounds, President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "This project is the result of several years of effort by volunteers and staff of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and offers a great opportunity to advance the long-term protection of precious natural habitats."

Launched by the Government of Canada in March 2007 with an investment of $225 million, the Natural Areas Conservation Program aims to accelerate and enhance the efforts of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other groups to protect precious natural areas for the benefit of current and future generations.

"The Government of Canada is proud to play a role in this largest single land acquisition in the Ottawa Valley natural area by the Nature Conservancy of Canada," said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Pontiac. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper has committed $225 million to support the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other conservation organizations in preserving Canada's natural legacy. Today's announcement is just one more example of how our Government is taking real action to protect Canada's natural environment."

"Today's announcement is just another example of how the Government of Canada is taking real action to protect precious habitat for a wide array of species," added Environment Minister John Baird. "Protecting and conserving our natural areas benefits all Canadians."

The 589 hectare (1,455 acre) property is located in the municipality of Clarendon, 100 kilometres west of the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa. Its unique diverse habitats contain a rich biodiversity. It is home to Blanding's and Map Turtles, and eight species of waterfowl. Plant life includes the Butternut, which is an endangered species in Canada, and one of the most important populations of the Ram's head Lady's-slipper, a globally vulnerable orchid.

"Spanning 1.5 km along the Ottawa River, this property is at the heart of the largest population of Northern Map Turtles in the province," says Nathalie Zinger, Vice President for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec. "It is also located in the middle of the Atlantic Flyway, allowing us to see several species of waterfowl during their migration period."

This vast natural area harbours at least 25 threatened species and exceptional forest ecosystems including centuries-old cedar groves and old humid hardwoods. The acquisition is also an important step forward for the Nature Conservancy of Canada's objectives for conserving the Ottawa Valley's alvars, biologically rich landscapes with small rocky and chalky outcrops that host a remarkable variety of plant life.

Other partners in this acquisition include the ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune - Outaouais (MRNF), the ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) and Club des ornithologues de l'Outaouais. We are also grateful for support under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV) and from private donors.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a national, non-profit conservation organization that works to protect Canada's natural habitats. Its plan of action is to build partnerships and develop creative conservation solutions with individuals, corporations, community groups, conservation groups and government bodies. Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have helped to protect close to two million acres (809,371 hectares) of ecologically significant land across Canada, including 37,066 acres (15,000 hectares) in Quebec.

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