Eagle flying over Powder Islands, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)

Eagle flying over Powder Islands, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)

National Forest Week

Celebrating Powder Islands & TD Forests

Aerial view of Powders Islands, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)

Aerial view of Powders Islands, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)

When one thinks of iconic landscapes in Ontario, Lake Superior is one of the great many that come to mind. With its majestic water, plentiful forests and bounty of life, Lake Superior is supremely Canadian and a true representation of northern Ontario. During National Forest Week, Canadians are invited to learn more about Canada’s forest heritage and raise awareness about this valuable and renewable resource. This week is about celebrating the natural heritage that our home is known for – an abundance of forests.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) recently acquired a key site in Lake Superior, the 399 acre (161.5 hectares) Powder Islands. The Powder Islands are comprised of two large islands: Anguros Island (299 acres) and a smaller unnamed island located to the west (100 acres). These islands are almost completely dominated by Lake Superior coastal forests. Characteristic forest types include dense coniferous forests of white spruce, jack pine and balsam fir, and mixed forests with spruce, fir, poplar and white birch. The islands support many other habitat features including steep cliffs, cobble beaches, small inland lakes and Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Rare species that have been documented include bald eagle and a small blue wildflower called Franklin’s scorpion-weed. The shallow waters around these islands provide spawning habitat for lake trout and lake whitefish, and stop-over habitat for migrating waterfowl.

The protection of Ontario’s forest heritage, and Powder Islands, would have not been possible without the generosity of TD Bank Group. The TD Forests program aims to protect forest habitat across Canada and to engage more people in efforts to care for our forests. Since its launch in 2012, NCC has been able to protect over 25,000 acres of forest across Canada with TD Bank’s support. This number will keep growing as we protect more in the years to come. It is part of NCC’s mission to achieve a conservation legacy through collaboration and believe TD Forests is a fine example of what can be achieved when we all work together.

NCC recently celebrated the Powder Islands acquisition with TD Bank at a Pow Wow presented by our local conservation partners, the Pays Plat First Nation. The Powder Islands, along with NCC’s nearby Wilson Island, are culturally significant to the First Nation and NCC collaborates with the First Nation to manage the properties. Over 100 guests participated in a drum and smudge ceremony, peace pipe and guided boat tour of the Powder Islands.

  • Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
  • Eagle catches fish, Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Eagle catches fish, Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
  • Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
  • Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
  • Pays Plat Pow Wow, Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Pays Plat Pow Wow, Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
  • Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
  • Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
  • Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Powder Islands, Thunder Bay, ON (Photo by Alan Auld)

 

According to Linda Branderhorst, NCC event coordinator in Ontario, the second time she ever saw a bald eagle in the wild was in a boat en route to the Powder Islands. But she didn’t see just one – as the boat rounded a series of square cliffs towering about calm waters, the noise of the boat stirred up a group of seven bald eagles perched on the unique cliff wall and soaking in the sun. Later in the day, the eagles put on another fabulous show for visitors. These sightings, while rare for most city dwellers, are not uncommon along the north shore of Lake Superior, where rugged ridges, cliffs and mesas offer extreme south and north-facing microclimates. This unique landscape is a key area for Great Lakes biodiversity as well as part of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.

NCC’s purpose is to conserve natural areas – areas that Ontarians live, work and play. Where families walk, trees grow, marshes thrive and species survive. Conserved natural areas are part of our national identity and a real and lasting expression of our commitment to ensuring a legacy for future generations. It is through the support of our partners and donors, such as TD Bank, that NCC is producing tangible results we can walk on. NCC aims to help people value and experience forests through our work, properties and events such as National Forests Week.

About Nature Conservancy of 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 2.7 million acres (over 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved over 178,000 acres (72,034 hectares) in Ontario.  For more information visit: www.natureconservancy.ca/on

About TD Forests
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.

 

Supporter Spotlight

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