The Alberta Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) celebrated the acquisition of the 131-acre (53-hectare) Fyten-Lea project along the Red Deer River with Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament (Red Deer) and Peter Kruselnicki, Vice-President of Stakeholder Relations for TransCanada Corporation.
The stunning Fyten-Lea property is an iconic representation of the significant landscapes that are conserved in the Red Deer River Natural Area. Fyten-Lea is important to NCC for its riverbank topography and diversity of flora and fauna. The property is located along the banks of the Red Deer River and is split between forested area and native grasslands. This property provides important habitat for ungulates, songbirds, raptors and mammals and is an important riverbank wildlife corridor area.
The Red Deer River Natural Area is situated in the Parkland Natural Region of south-central Alberta. The natural area contains Pine Lake, Buffalo Lake and Goosequill/Hummock Lakes, which provide excellent staging areas for waterfowl in the spring. The natural area is characterized by a mosaic of cultivated land interspersed with remnant native parkland, grassland and aspen vegetation usually associated with hummocky till and is a key ecodistrict for the conservation of aspen parkland diversity.
With the retreat of the glaciers after the ice age, the Prairie Pothole region was formed, with its characteristic hilly terrain and an abundance of wetlands. In the heart of the region are many environmentally significant and protected areas. For this reason NCC is working towards conserving landscapes and create corridors between these protected areas. The abundance of semi-permanent wetlands and lush vegetation makes this area of critical importance to waterfowl and wildlife movement.
Along with the Fyten-Lea property, seven other significant properties have been conserved by NCC in the Red Deer River Natural Area in the last year and are celebrated today. Many forces for nature have come together to allow these acquisitions to take place. These projects are valued at more than $5.2 million and were made possible thanks to funding from the Government of Canada under the Natural Areas Conservation Program, and TransCanada Corporation. These projects were also made possible with support from NCC's partners — Alberta Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited and the United States Fish & Wildlife Department under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
"The Fyten-Lea project is a stunning example of places that Canadians treasure and that are so important for the wildlife that exists here. The support of the Government of Canada and TransCanada Corporation is critically important in making this project and the numerous others we've conserved in the Red Deer River Natural Area possible," said Bob Demulder, vice-president, Alberta Region, Nature Conservancy of Canada.
"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program," said Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer, on behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Minister of the Environment. "With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our country's ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations."
"TransCanada is proud to join the Nature Conservancy of Canada's work to advance the long-term conservation and stewardship of healthy native parkland in the Red Deer River Natural Area," said Peter Kruselnicki, Vice-President of Stakeholder Relations at TransCanada. "Environmental stewardship is integral to all aspects of our business and TransCanada believes we have a responsibility to protect the environment for future generations."
- The total combined acreage of the eight properties conserved in 2011 and 2012 is 2,033 acres (823 hectares). The total value of these projects is more than $5.2 million.
- The properties are: Fyten-Lea, Pope, Troy, Lockerby, Rachel Agnes Hays Conservation Lands, Hebert Lake Uplands, Haynes, Collins.
- Properties are nearby and adjacent to existing conservation projects. They are important additions to existing clusters of conservation lands and are building vital blocks for the movement of wildlife in this area.
- Donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada deliver results you can walk on: 85 percent of donations go directly to protecting natural landscapes in Canada.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading 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 2.6 million acres (1 million hectares), coast to coast, with over 185,000 acres (75,000 hectares) conserved in Alberta.
With more than 60 years' experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure, including natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities. TransCanada operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 68,500 kilometres (42,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with approximately 380-billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns or has interests in more than 10,900 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. TransCanada is developing one of North America's largest oil delivery systems. TransCanada's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP. For more information visit: www.transcanada.com or check us out on Twitter @TransCanada.
The Government of Canada-Nature Conservancy of Canada Natural Areas Conservation Program is a unique public-private partnership that helps non-government organizations secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the protection of our country's diverse ecosystems, wildlife and habitat. As of June 30, 2012, the Natural Areas Conservation Program has protected 835,637 acres (338,170 hectares) of habitat, which includes habitat for 126 species at risk.
Stunning photography available. Interviews with volunteers, donors, NCC staff, experts and scientists available. Check out our online newsroom for more updates at www.natureconservancy.ca/media
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