British Columbia

  • 4 Number of Projects
  • 3,768 New hectares secured
  • $14,130,000 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
The Mount Edziza Conservancy and surrounding area include the headwaters of an important tributary to the Stikine River system, one of North America’s largest and most intact wild salmon watersheds.
Mount Edziza Conservancy, BC (Photo courtesy Skeena Resources)
Mount Edziza Conservancy
one of North America’s largest and most intact wild salmon watersheds

The Mount Edziza Conservancy encompasses 3,500 hectares of spectacular low-lying forest, alpine meadows, wetlands and lakes to the east of Mount Edziza. The area includes the headwaters of an important tributary to the Stikine River system, one of North America’s largest and most intact wild salmon watersheds.

This area is rich in wildlife; moose, caribou, mountain goats and stone sheep roam here. And the land supports habitat for at least 11 species at risk, including olive-sided flycatcher, grizzly bear and wolverine.

The Tahltan Central Government, Province of BC, Skeena Resources Limited, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and BC Parks Foundation worked in partnership to create the Mount Edziza Conservancy, which is managed by BC Parks.

NCC acknowledges that the Tahltan have cared for the natural areas, plants and wildlife that have sustained them for millennia. The creation of the conservancy in Tahltan territory represents the first step in the multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative, which aims to bring greater self-determination to the Tahltan Nation and support their land stewardship goals.

Read more: The protection of cultural and ecological values

Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area
An internationally significant conservation area

An internationally significant conservation area just outside Osoyoos just got bigger. NCC announced the addition of 126 hectares to the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area. The diversity of habitats and wildlife found on Sage and Sparrow is what makes this conservation area both unique and incredibly important.

The conservation area sits on the Canada-U.S. border near Osoyoos, protecting part of an international swath of rare grassland habitat and a crucial component of a migratory corridor for species moving between the desert areas of the western United States and the dry grasslands of interior BC.

Sage and Sparrow, BC (Photo by Steve Austin)

Sage and Sparrow takes its name from the extensive sagebrush landscape it supports, plus the notable abundance (11 at last count!) of sparrow species found here. The land also supports pockets of trembling aspen, which provide habitat for mule deer, ruffed grouse, magpies and two mouse species of conservation concern: western harvest mouse and Great Basin pocket mouse. Rocky outcrops provide cover for many species of snakes as well as other small mammals.

All of these ecological systems are under significant threat of development and conversion to agricultural systems. NCC continues to work on increasing the size of the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area by working with willing landowners in the area who wish to see their properties transferred into conservation and protected for the long term.

Read more: Precious wetlands, old-growth forest and grasslands now protected

Alberta

  • 6 Number of Projects
  • 3,290 New hectares secured
  • $8,204,200 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
A new conservation site known as the Bower Wildlife Sanctuary has been generously donated to NCC by two sisters.
Bower Wildlife Sanctuary, AB (Photo by Brent Calver)
Bower Wildlife Sanctuary
A century of caring

A 193-hectare property in the Red Deer River Natural Area has been in the Bower family for three generations. James Bower originally purchased two quarter-sections from CP Rail in the 1920s. His son, Charles, later added an adjoining 51 hectares along the river.

Sisters Ruth and Dorothy Bower inherited the property from their father, Charles, and decided to donate it to NCC. Over the decades, their care and dedication ensured that the wildlife that live and travel freely through the region have safe access to the Red Deer River valley, so close to the city of Red Deer.

The Bower Wildlife Sanctuary, as it is now named, is in a unique region of central Alberta; the native habitat here features a transition zone between the grasslands and parklands. Only one-third of this habitat now remains across the Prairies.

Species at risk that benefit from this conservation project include American badger, western tiger salamander, Sprague’s pipit and piping plover. The sanctuary is also located within a Sensitive Raptor Range for bald eagles.

Read more: A unique region of central Alberta

Saskatchewan

  • 3 Number of Projects
  • 1,101 New hectares secured
  • $1,594,000 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
We celebrated a quarter century of conservation work at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area — located in one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.
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Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area
25 years of grassland conservation

It is thanks to Peter and Sharon Butala that this year, NCC celebrates the 25th anniversary of Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB) — a groundbreaking project in Canada’s Prairie grasslands. The Butalas were the ranch’s previous owners.

OMB is a wonderland of rolling native grasslands, making it a beautiful place to watch the sky change as it sets along the horizon. Located in southwestern Saskatchewan, this NCC flagship project is best known for the herd of plains bison that roam and help keep the grasslands healthy on this 5,297-hectare ranch.

Nestled in darkness from sunset to sunrise, OMB was designated a Nocturnal Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in 2015. This property attracts both novice and seasoned stargazers who visit the ranch to experience incredible sunsets and stellar views of the Milky Way.

For the past 25 years, and for the long term, the vast natural prairie found at OMB brings hope for conserving our remaining intact native grasslands.

Read more: A flagship project in Saskatchewan

Pipestone Creek
Protecting grasslands and wetlands

Protecting grasslands and wetlands is a priority in Saskatchewan. The Pipestone Creek property in the southeast corner of the province features 455 hectares of tame and native grasslands mixed with bur oak aspen parkland habitat. And thanks to a partnership and a vision, these important habitats will be conserved for the long term.

Private landowners worked with both Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and NCC to develop conservation agreements that will protect existing grassland and wetland areas of the property.

Pipestone Creek grasslands, SK (Photo by Jason Bantle)

Grasslands are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world, and they help filter our water and store carbon. They also provide habitat for at-risk species, such as bobolink, Sprague’s pipit, loggerhead shrike, little brown myotis and northern leopard frog. The location of the Pipestone Creek property within the Moose Mountain Natural Area makes it important in conserving habitat connectivity in an area with high levels of threat to habitat fragmentation.

This partnership is a result of visionary landowners, and the conservation agreements will ensure the properties will not be developed, subdivided, drained or cultivated. They will, however, continue to be used for cattle grazing to help keep the grasslands healthy.

Read more: Collaborating in conservation

Manitoba

  • 5 Number of Projects
  • 513 New hectares secured
  • $946,100 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
The Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve supports all seven Poweshiek skipperling populations remaining in the country.
Oak Lake North, MB (Photo by Doug Derksen)
Oak Lake North
A site of two exciting discoveries

The Oak Lake North property was partially donated to NCC in December 2019 by David Lacey, in memory of his late wife, Susan. Located on the shores of Oak Lake, this 63-hectare property supports the Dakota skipper butterfly and endangered great plains ladies’-tresses orchid. These two species are also of global conservation concern. There were no previous records of the Dakota skipper in this area and the identification of the orchid’s presence expands its known range in Manitoba.

The property features mixed-grass prairie, wetlands and riverbank habitat. NCC’s work at the Oak Lake property supports the local economy while sustaining habitat for species at risk. After finding these important species on the property, NCC created a plan to manage its natural values through approved agricultural activities, such as grazing and prescribed haying.

This is just one more example of NCC working together with local families to ensure that critical grasslands continue to exist into the future. Funding for this project was provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Richardson Foundation and David Lacey .

Read more: Donating land in a loved one’s memory

Nature Manitoba
A generous donation

NCC received a generous donation of 358 hectares from Nature Manitoba. The two organizations worked together for the continued conservation of Manitoba’s Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.

L to R: western prairie white-fringed orchid, Great Plains ladies'-tresses (Photos by NCC)

Less than one per cent of the original tallgrass prairie habitat remains in the province. Listed as endangered under Manitoba’s Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act, the tallgrass prairie is home to over 1,000 different species, including seven that are globally imperilled. These Nature Manitoba-donated lands also support two of the seven Poweshiek skipperling habitats remaining in the country, a portion of the world’s largest population of western prairie white-fringed orchid and a portion of the province’s small white lady’s slipper orchids.

Read more: Positive news for Manitoba’s natural environment

Ontario

  • 9 Number of projects
  • 8,694 New hectares secured
  • $17,735,000 Land value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
Vidal Bay Forests and Shoreline captures over 22,675 tonnes of CO2e per year; equivalent to the carbon emissions from the electricity used by 4,119 homes each year
Vidal Bay, ON (Photo by Jamin Hudson)
Vidal Bay
Landscape-scale conservation

Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world.

NCC launched a $16,000,000 fundraising campaign to protect and care for 7,608 hectares at Vidal Bay, on Manitoulin Island, including over 18 kilometres of shoreline along the North Channel of Lake Huron. This project is setting a new standard of large, landscape-scale conservation in Ontario.

When combined with nearby and adjacent conservation lands that NCC has already conserved, this will become a protected area complex of nearly 250 square kilometres, the largest of its kind south of the Canadian Shield in Ontario. It will conserve an astonishing 86 kilometres of Great Lakes coast, more than twice what is currently protected at Bruce Peninsula National Park. The property captures over 22,675 tonnes of CO2e per year; equivalent to the carbon emissions from the electricity used by 4,119 homes each year.

The Vidal Bay Forests and Shoreline property features undeveloped Lake Huron coast with cliffs and beaches, lakes and wetlands, intact forests and alvars. The alvars of western Manitoulin Island are the best remaining examples of this type of globally rare habitat in North America, where the limestone pavements and thin soils set the stage for unique plant communities.

Read more: Vidal Bay Forests and Shoreline

McMahon Bluff
A gem of undeveloped Lake Ontario shoreline

McMahon Bluff is a natural gem on the southern shore of Prince Edward County. This 97-hectare property boasts steep slopes, cliff faces, forest, savannah, alvar and more than two kilometres of rare, undeveloped Lake Ontario shoreline. Its limestone cliffs rise almost 30 metres above the Bay of Quinte and the mouth of the Black River. Just north of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, the property provides vital breeding and stopover habitat for migratory birds and supports a rich diversity of rare wildflowers and other plants.

McMahon Bluff, ON (Photo by Bert Jenkins)

The current landowner generously agreed to donate the property, but NCC needed to raise funds to cover the associated costs for the acquisition, as well as to fund a management plan and vital, on-going stewardship work for this property for the long term.

Read more: A piece of Prince Edward County’s wild south shore

Quebec

  • 14 Number of Projects
  • 1,057 New hectares secured
  • $5,926,800 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
This Green Mountains Nature Reserve is not only one of the last remaining intact natural areas in southern Quebec, it is also one of the most important connectivity zones in the Appalachian range.
Green Mountains, QC (Photo by Claude Côté)
Green Mountains
A natural gem of the Sutton mountains

Thanks to the Krieg family, who donated a portion of the value of their land to NCC, 100 hectares of a significant natural gem on the southern flank of the Sutton Mountains has been conserved for the long term.

The property, known as the Green Mountains – August and Linda Krieg family section, is part of a vast ecological corridor connecting the Green Mountains Nature Reserve to the Missisquoi North River. Its mature forests are home to eastern wood-pewee, spring salamander and northern dusky salamander.

The Au Diable Vert outdoor centre has also acquired land adjacent to this new property. Together, these two acquisitions help consolidate an important network of walking trails that cross the properties of both organizations and demonstrate that through an innovative partnership, it is possible to combine conservation and recreational activities.

Read more: Realizing a family’s dream

Rivière aux Brochets
Saving spiny softshell turtles

Found in the Lake Champlain area of Montérégie, spiny softshell turtles are designated as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act and threatened under the Quebec Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species.

NCC announced the acquisition of two properties along the Rivière aux Brochets, in Montérégie. These properties feature essential habitat for spiny softshell turtles and are near one of the few known spiny softshell turtle egg-laying sites.

At just under two hectares, these habitats are of great value, as shoreline modification threatens the species’ survival, and these two properties are among the few remaining natural banks on the Rivière aux Brochets.

These acquisitions were made possible thanks to the Gasser family — a family of dairy producers — and local landowner Jean Lapierre. Wanting these natural habitats to be conserved for the long term, they chose to sell their land to NCC.

Read more: Rescuing a fragile friend

New Brunswick

  • 5 Number of Projects
  • 286 New hectares secured
  • $348,406 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
The Musquash Estuary is one of the last fully functioning estuaries in the Bay of Fundy, in one of the most biologically productive natural settings in Atlantic Canada.
Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
Musquash Estuary
A natural treasure in Atlantic Canada

The Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve is a natural treasure and one of NCC’s most significant projects in Atlantic Canada. As the only large, ecologically intact estuary remaining in the Bay of Fundy — home of the world’s highest tides — the Musquash Estuary is unique and irreplaceable.

Estuaries form where rivers meet the sea. The mixing of fresh and salt water, the continuous action of the tides and the recycling of nutrients make estuaries among the most fertile and productive ecosystems in the world.

Only 25 kilometres from Saint John, the 2,200 hectares here are home to bobcat, moose, deer and harbor seal, as well as mudflats, salt marshes, freshwater bogs and forests. Thanks to the support of Explore Lorneville Inc and the hard work from volunteers, a new connecting trail between the Black Beach and Five Fathom trails — called Lorneville Link — was added. An additional 111 hectares were conserved this year and a historic lighthouse on the property was repaired and painted.

This expansion would not have been possible without the support of hundreds of donors. A virtual celebration was held on June 2 to commemorate the successful expansion of this breathtaking estuary.

Read more: Protecting important coastal forest and wetland habitat

Prince Edward Island

  • 3 Number of Projects
  • 80 New hectares secured
  • $158,000 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
Percival River is one of the most intact wildlife and habitat corridors across PEI.
Mossy Point, PEI (Photo by NCC)
Mossy Point
One of the wilder corners of PEI

The largest unbroken tract of salt marsh on PEI can be found along the Percival River. The area is also one of the most intact wildlife and habitat corridors in the province.

Thanks to the generosity of many individuals, families and foundations, an additional 28 hectares of rich salt marsh, valuable forest and wildlife habitat have been conserved at the mouth of the river, in an area known as Mossy Point.

Located in one of the wilder corners of PEI, Mossy Point features a mix of bog and black spruce forest and a variety of birds and waterfowl, such as great blue heron, osprey, longtail duck and scoter. Lichens — the widest diversity in PEI — as well as fungi, ferns and wildflowers flourish here.

Read more: Coastal salt marsh, freshwater wetlands and important forest habitat

Nova Scotia

  • 4 Number of Projects
  • 1,795 New hectares secured
  • $3,709,000 Land Value Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
The Chignecto Isthmus serves as the only route for wildlife to travel between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Chignecto Isthmus, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
Chignecto Isthmus
A land bridge connecting Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

The Chignecto Isthmus is a 24-kilometre-wide land bridge connecting Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This critical habitat serves as the only route for wildlife to travel between the two provinces.

A recent donation to NCC is ensuring that moose now have more room to roam between the two provinces.

Hans Caemmerer, a frequent visitor to Canada, fell in love with the land back and purchased it back in the 1970s. His daughter, Monika Caemmerer, generously donated the land to NCC in memory of her late father.

Moose populations in New Brunswick are healthy; however, in Nova Scotia they are endangered. The Chignecto Isthmus is where endangered animals such as the Nova Scotia mainland moose are given the freedom to move freely across the land to find food.

In addition to habitat for moose, the isthmus also features extensive freshwater wetlands, diverse Acadian forest, grasslands and two distinct coasts.

Read more: One of the most important habitats in the Maritimes

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Fair market value as determined by independent appraisal.
Through our partnership with the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation, we are improving species diversity and wildlife habitat at Barachois Brook Nature Reserve.
Barachois Brook, NL (Photo by Aiden Mahoney)
Barachois Brook
Volunteers and NCC staff hard at work

Ambitious volunteers and NCC staff are working toward removing a portion of the cultivated forest stand at the Barachois Brook Nature Reserve. This property has a long history of commercial wood harvesting and contains a 31-year-old tree plantation site. The dense canopies block light from reaching the forest floor, impeding the growth of vegetation.

By breaking up the canopy, more species can establish here, and habitat quality for the animals in the area, including American marten, will be improved.

The reserve borders one of the largest provincial parks in Newfoundland and Labrador and serves as an extension of protected river valley habitat. Lands in this area have historically been used by members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation for salmon fishing, harvesting and lodging, and are home to much wildlife, including the federally threatened American marten.

Read more: Habitat for many wildlife species