Key grassland site protected near Saskatoon
Nature Conservancy of Canada purchases private land near town of Dundurn
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce a new conservation project in Saskatchewan. NCC has purchased a jewel of a property near the town of Dundurn for permanent conservation. The property is a 30-minute drive from Saskatoon.
What makes the 65-hectare (160-acre) property unique is that it consists of rolling hills made from old sand dunes, which are covered by aspen trees, shrubs, wet meadows and native grasslands.
The Dundurn property was identified as a priority for NCC to acquire due to its pristine natural state and connectivity to surrounding native habitat. The plant species hairy prairie-clover is found on the property and is listed as special concern under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Several other provincially important plant species have been observed in the area, including sand-dune wild rye, Menzies’ catchfly and red-stemmed cinquefoil.
The area also provides excellent habitat for mammals, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, elk and olive-backed pocket mouse.
NCC biologists and foresters will complete a thorough inventory of the property next spring. The inventory will include identification and confirmation of the animals and plants located on the property and this information will be used to develop a property management plan.
The Dundurn conservation project was made possible through financial contributions by a number of partners. They include the Government of Canada, through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, and the Government of Saskatchewan, through the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund, along with many individual donors and supporters.
“I congratulate the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners in conserving 65 hectares of pristine wildlife habitat in Saskatchewan. Through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, our government is working to conserve Canada’s biodiversity and natural heritage. Preserving natural areas like this one also helps fight climate change, and by working together we can all make a difference for our climate and our wildlife,” says Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.
“The province relies on partnerships with non-government organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada to deliver habitat conservation and enhancement programs,” says Saskatchewan Environment Minister Dustin Duncan. “We are pleased to see Saskatchewan’s Fish and Wildlife Development Fund dollars being used to such good effect and congratulate NCC on this project.”
“The Dundurn Property is adjacent to some of the largest tracts of remaining native habitat in the Saskatoon area. Walking the hills and skirting the bushes on the property is a journey into the past, where my imaginings of wide open, wild Saskatchewan are all real,” says Matthew Braun, manager of conservation science and planning for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Saskatchewan.
- The property is located in the Moist Mixed Prairie Ecoregion, an area known for its diversity of species in Saskatchewan.
- Grasslands are considered the world’s most endangered ecosystem, as 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 almost all of its properties, including the Dundurn property.
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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