The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced the conservation of 73 acres (30 hectares) with exceptional, mature forest habitat in southwestern Ontario. Two projects were completed thanks to generous funding from TD Bank Group (TD) through the TD Forests program, and from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program and the Habitat Stewardship Program.
Both projects are located within the Carolinian Life Zone. This area comprises less than a quarter of one percent of Canada's landmass, but is home to 25 percent of our country’s species at risk. The projects build on existing protected areas at Backus Woods and Point Abino Woods, and increase the level of protection for native plants and wildlife, including rare species such as prothonotary warbler and Acadian flycatcher.
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.
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 James Duncan, Regional Vice President, Ontario 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.”
“These acquisitions mark another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program,” said 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.”
“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.”
- The two Carolinian projects conserve mature deciduous forests, including upland sand plain forest and forested swamp.
- The Norfolk area, location of one of the two projects, supports the highest percentage of forest cover in southwestern Ontario. Norfolk is home to 60 species considered at risk nationally under the Species at Risk Act, as well as 221 provincially rare species.
- Point Abino Woods, location of the second of the two projects, is a small yet highly significant hotspot of natural diversity located on the north shore of Lake Erie in the Niagara region. Point Abino is a priority area for forest bird species.
- 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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