The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced the conservation of 260 acres (106 hectares) of exceptional forest habitat in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass. This project was completed thanks to generous funding from TD Bank Group (TD) through the TD Forests program and the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program.
The Lusicich project has significant habitat value, including Douglas fir forests, montane grassland, north-south and east-west wildlife movement corridors and, consequently, provides critical range connectivity for species including grizzly bear, elk and wolf. More than 70 percent of the property contains Douglas fir, pine and aspen forest.
TD Forests is helping NCC to increase the amount of forest habitat protected and cared for, especially in southern Canada, where forests are most threatened by development. This is where the majority of Canadians live, competing for space with more than 80 percent of our terrestrial and freshwater species at risk.
Through this program, NCC and TD are also engaging Canadians in and connecting them to the mission of conserving our forested areas.
The Natural Areas Conservation Program is a unique public-private partnership. As of June 30, 2012, the Natural Areas Conservation Program had protected 835,637 acres (338,170 hectares) of habitat, which includes habitat for 126 species at risk.
NCC’s involvement in the Crowsnest Pass Natural Area is primarily motivated by the goal of maintaining and enhancing wildlife linkage zones and corridors across and along the Crowsnest Pass valley in southwestern Alberta. The variation of climate and the elevation gradient located along this east-west valley creates habitat that supports a high diversity of species.
For more information about forest conservation and other TD Forests projects, please visit: www.natureconservancy.ca/celebrateforests.
“We are thankful for the generous support of TD and our other partners in this project who have all made an incredible commitment to conservation,” remarked Bob Demulder, Regional Vice President, Alberta for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “Together, we are ensuring that Canada’s incredible forests will be here for our children and grandchildren to cherish in years to come.”
“This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program,” said the Honourable Ted Menzies, Member of Parliament for MacLeod and Minister of State for Finance. “With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our country’s ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations.”
“Ninety percent of Canadians have said forests are important to them, and for good reason,” says Karen Clarke-Whistler, TD’s Chief Environment Officer. “Forests form the backdrop of our lives. They are where we work, live and play. Forests play an essential role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures, and are home to more than one-third of the plant and animal species in North America. As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent. That’s why we made growing the area of protected forest habitat a key pillar of the TD Forests program.”
- At Crowsnest Pass, elevations range from 1,113 metres at the Crowsnest River, to 2,804 metres at the mountain peaks.
- The Crowsnest Pass region is characterized by a rapid ecological transition from prairies to alpine. This compressed environmental gradient, and the influence of the Chinook winds, result in a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
- The vegetation of Crowsnest Pass is a mosaic of grasslands and of deciduous and conifer woodlands; it hosts a wide variety of rare plant species.
- Crowsnest Pass is a critical area for overwintering elk and deer, and provides habitat for important wildlife species such as grizzly bear, gray wolf and cougar.
- Crowsnest Pass is an essential wildlife passage through a chain of north-south mountains and valleys in the Canadian Rockies.
- The Nature Conservancy of Canada works in many forest ecosystems from coast to coast: from the Fog Forest of Newfoundland and Labrador, to the beautiful deciduous forest of the Carolinian Life Zone in southwestern Ontario; from aspen parkland in the prairie provinces, to lush rainforests on the west coast.
- Canada is home to 10 percent of the world’s forests, covering one third of our country.
- Forests represent so much more than just trees. Each forest type supports a rich diversity of plant and animal life that relies on a healthy ecosystem to thrive.
- TD is a long-time supporter of NCC, especially through the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, which has supported many NCC community-based projects across the country.
- TD Bank Group announced The TD Forests Program in 2011. To learn more about this program visit: www.td.com/forests.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) 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 (more than 1 million hectares), coast to coast.
The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program is a $225 million investment to assist non-profit, non-government organizations to secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the conservation of our diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and habitat. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been entrusted to lead the program and has committed to raising matching funds for each federal dollar received.
Launched in 2012, TD Forests is a major conservation initiative built around two pillars – reduce (paper use) and grow (forested areas). The reduce pillar will focus on providing an increased selection of e-banking options for customers and on reducing paper usage in TD’s business operations. The grow component of the initiative brings together TD’s environment, community and employee programs related to forests and trees. These include TD Tree Days, TD Green Streets and local community initiatives, along with a major new conservation program conducted through the Nature Conservancy of Canada and The Nature Conservancy in the United States. This program focuses on increasing the area of protected forest habitat in North America. For more information, visit TD Forests.
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