Conservation groups unite to protect lands in Norfolk County
Port Rowan, ON, December 17, 2018 - The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Long
Point Basin Land Trust (LPBLT) today announced the protection of four sites totalling
145 hectares (358 acres). These expand an important conservation area near Port
Rowan, just north of Lake Erie.
The purchased lands are a mix of forests, ravines, cold-water creeks, fields and
meadows. They provide habitat for many federally listed species at risk, including
birds like Acadian flycatcher (endangered), eastern whip-poor-will (threatened),
prothonotary warbler (endangered) and monarch (special concern).
By purchasing these sites, NCC and LPBLT are protecting important sources of clean
drinking water that flow into Lake Erie, including a stretch of Venison Creek and
Two of these sites increase the buffer around Backus Woods, which is widely recognized
as the best remaining example of older-growth Carolinian forest habitat in Canada
and is a popular hiking spot.
The two organizations will work together to care for and manage the conservation
properties, which are located in the Carolinian Life Zone — a critical ecosystem
that extends northward from the Carolinas to its northernmost point in southwestern
The properties are also within the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Area of Cooperation
and Norfolk Forests Important Bird Area.
Norfolk County is home to more than 45 provincially, nationally or globally rare
plants and animals, one of the highest densities of rare and endangered wildlife
These projects were generously supported by funding from the Government of Canada,
through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. These funds were matched with a
number of generous donations from SC Johnson, Frank Charles Miller, Mary and Jack
Gingrich, Joyce Beare-Rogers, Richard M. Ivey, The Rogers Foundation, Galin Foundation,
The Walter J. Blackburn Foundation, The Gosling Foundation, Anne and Dolf Wynia,
David Agro and Willa Wong, James N. Allan Family Foundation, Echo Foundation, The
McLean Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North American Wetlands
Conservation Act, and many additional generous donors.
Please refer to the attached fact sheet for additional information on the importance
of this natural area.
"The Norfolk area has some spectacular natural spaces that are incredibly important
to the local community and attract outdoor enthusiasts from near and far. From protecting
our water resources and restoring habitat for pollinators and birds, to creating
opportunities for Canadians to get outside and enjoy nature, the Nature Conservancy
of Canada, along with Long Point Basin Land Trust and other key partners and generous
supporters, is committed to ensuring that the nature we protect today will be here
for generations." ~ Wendy Cridland, Acting Regional Vice-president, Ontario, Nature
Conservancy of Canada
"The Board of Long Point Basin Land Trust is thrilled to be jointly announcing with
NCC recent acquisitions of conservation lands in Norfolk. The 20 hectares (49 acres)
secured by LPBLT has been named to recognize one of the founding members of LPBLT,
Ken McMullen, who passed away recently. Ken would be pleased to see this particular
property with its many natural history values and the additional NCC parcels protected
in perpetuity." ~ Peter Carson, President, Long Point Basin Land Trust
"With the help of partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Long Point
Basin Land Trust, our government is making progress toward doubling the amount of
protected nature across Canada's lands and oceans. Nature is central to our Canadian
identity, and it's important for organizations and private groups across Canada
to take the initiative now to ensure our kids and grandkids can connect to nature
and experience its wonder." Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit,
private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural
areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped
to protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast, with
more than 82,000 hectares (200,000 acres) in Ontario. For more information, visit
Established in 1996, Long Point Basin Land Trust is a charitable, non-government
organization whose mission is to protect and restore functioning ecosystems in the
Long Point Basin, an area located in the central Carolinian region. This mission
is achieved through land securement, land stewardship, and species at risk recovery
activities. LPBLT owns and stewards nine nature reserve properties in Norfolk County,
totaling 195 hectares (483 acres) protected in perpetuity. For more information,
The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique
public-private partnership to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern
Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) manages the program. Federal funds
are matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under
the NACP enhances natural corridors and other protected areas.
Norfolk County Conservation Projects Fact Sheet
- The Southern Norfolk Sand Plain natural area is a high priority for the Nature Conservancy
of Canada. It draws visitors from near and far to enjoy hiking, skiing, birding
and other outdoor recreational pursuits.
- To date, NCC has conserved more than 2,266 hectares (5,606 acres) of this unique
- The new conservation lands are part of Environment and Climate Change Canada's proposed
priority place, Long Point Walsingham Forest.
- The Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Area of Cooperation and the Norfolk Forests
Important Bird Area have a rich blend of habitats that support some of Canada's
highest concentrations of biodiversity.
- Comprising less than one per cent of the country's land mass, Carolinian Canada
is home to 25 per cent of our country's species at risk, including several species
found only in the lower Great Lakes Basin, and a number of globally declining species.
The region is also home to 25 per cent of Canada's population (the fourth largest
population centre in North America), extensive agricultural lands, a high concentration
of industry and the largest trade corridor between Canada and the United States.
- Generations of Norfolk County farmers and other rural landowners have been good
stewards of the county's lands and waters. NCC is proud to work in partnership with
local groups and individuals to ensure the protection and management of key conservation
- Backus Woods has over 21 kilometres of trails and is open year-round.
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