Fort Ellice Property
Fort Ellice, MB (Photo by NCC)
When it comes to biodiversity, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has attained a true treasure with the purchase of the Fort Ellice Property.
Fort Ellice was established in 1831 by C.T. William Todd. Originally a Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) trading post, the fort is located on Beaver Creek, east of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border near the Assiniboine and Qu’Appelle rivers. In addition to selling provisions to passing traders, the fort's main purpose was to protect HBC lands from American interests.
Today, nature has reclaimed the land and only a subtle reminder of the fort is left.
The 1,420-hectare (3,509-acre) property overlooks the Assiniboine River Valley in Manitoba. The property supports a variety of ecosystems, including sandhill prairie, mixed-grass prairie, oak savannah, deciduous forests, wetlands and streams.
During an initial baseline inventory, NCC staff identified the presence of elk, coyote, moose, northern leopard frogs, monarch butterfly and the threatened Sprague's pipit. Finding the pipit was particularly valuable for NCC, as its protection can now be included in the conservation plan for the area. NCC staff continue to add to the lengthy list of species found in this biodiversity hotspot.
NCC is currently working with experts to ensure the historical and cultural integrity of the land is maintained, while working to conserve the plants and wildlife found on this site.