The Nature Conservancy of Canada protects one of the most significant habitat corridors near Craven

July 6, 2018
Saskatchewan

 

At-risk habitat within the Qu'Appelle Valley saved from subdivision and development


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and its partners today unveiled Valley View, a new conservation area close to Craven, Saskatchewan.

The not-for-profit land conservation organization announced the purchase of 135.7 hectares (335 acres) of native grasslands and seasonal wetlands in the Upper Qu’Appelle Natural Area, approximately 40 minutes from Regina. 

Participating in the announcement today were Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and MP for Regina-Wascana, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada; NCC regional vice-president for Saskatchewan Mark Wartman; Jennifer McKillop NCC Director of Conservation for Saskatchewan, along with NCC staff and project supporters.

The Valley View conservation project enhances one of the most significant wildlife habitat corridors across southern Saskatchewan due to its location within the Qu’Appelle Valley, which stretches west to east across the province. The closeness to the towns of Craven and Lumsden and the city of Regina puts the acquired property at a high threat level for rural subdivision and acreage development. The area’s native habitat is also at risk of conversion for annual cropping. The Valley View project is near several protected areas and other natural lands.

The Upper Qu’Appelle Natural Area provides important habitat for a number of species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act. Birds such as Sprague’s pipit and chestnut-collared longspur, both threatened, and Baird’s sparrow, special concern, are likely to be found at Valley View.

Now that the property has been acquired, NCC science staff will conduct a thorough inventory of all plant and animal species in the coming weeks. This information will be used to develop a management plan to help protect the species and conserve their habitat.

The Valley View conservation project was made possible due to the generous financial support of a number of partners. The Government of Canada is a major contributor through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, a public-private partnership to accelerate conservation.

The Government of Saskatchewan contributed through the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund. Other individual contributors have also provided funds to the project.

Quotes

“I want to congratulate the NCC and their partners for preserving this important wildlife habitat. The Government of Canada is proud to have helped create this new conservative area through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. We’re committed to supporting Canadians taking action to protect the environment and wildlife, now and for future generations.”

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina―Wascana on behalf Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Today we celebrate the long-term conservation of native prairie in the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley. With the investment provided by the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and generous private donors, NCC’s acquisition of the Valley View property supports the conservation of an area of high biodiversity value, in a region under high threat for subdivision and development. NCC will manage this property into the future for the benefit of the species that live there, and for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Jennifer McKillop, Director of Conservation for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Saskatchewan

Facts

• Grasslands are considered the world’s most endangered ecosystem. Globally, more than 50 per cent have been lost to development. In Saskatchewan, 80 per cent of the original grasslands have been lost to development.
• NCC provides public, on-foot access at most of its properties, including the Valley View property.

About

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast. In Saskatchewan, NCC has conserved over 60,700 hectares (150,000 acres) of ecologically significant land through land donations, purchases and conservation agreements.

The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) manages the program. Federal funds are matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under the NACP enhances natural corridors and other protected areas.

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Daphne May
Communications Manager
306-715-2983

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