Swan Lake Wetlands Parklands Complex (Photo by NCC)

Swan Lake Wetlands Parklands Complex (Photo by NCC)


What is the Nature Conservancy of Canada?

  • NCC is a non-profit, charitable organization.
  • NCC is not a government agency.
  • NCC allows hunting with permission on some properties.
  • NCC leases pasture land to RM residents.
  • NCC pays farm property and residential taxes.
  • NCC supports local businesses.

What does the Nature Conservancy of Canada do?

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada's largest not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working with local landowners to protect our most important natural areas and the species that live there.

Our conservation success is built upon three essential components:

  1. conservation science;
  2. land securement; and
  3. ongoing land stewardship.

This science-based long-term approach is what makes NCC unique. NCC conserves habitat of the highest ecological value and conducts on-the-ground stewardship activities to protect animals and plants that live there. 

NCC's work is about more than just the species themselves. It is about partnering with communities to conserve the existing habitat that the species need to survive. Working together we can conserve our natural heritage so that all species of plants and animals will continue to have a place to live.

People are an integral part of Manitoba's ecosystems. NCC's work contributes to healthy human communities through the services that healthy natural environments provide: clean air, clean water and flood mitigation.

Does NCC have experienced land managers?

Yes. NCC's Manitoba Region has developed land management plans and practices over the years, in cooperation with:

  • Manitoba farmers and ranchers
  • Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
  • Manitoba Conservation
  • Invasive Species Council of Manitoba
  • Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (now the Agri-Environment Services Branch Agroforestry Development Centre)
  • University of Manitoba
  • Brandon University
  • North Dakota State University
  • University of Nebraska

We also rely on the expertise of our Science Advisory Committee, consisting of a number of respected Manitoba scientists, to assess the natural values and appropriate management of every property under consideration.

How does land conservation improve our environment?

NCC conserves natural areas.

Unspoiled natural areas filter the water we drink and the air we breath.  Healthy grasslands and forests act like lungs.  They breathe in the carbon dioxide that is created by virtually all human activity and breathe out oxygen.  Scientists around the world agree that the health of these carbon sinks is key to holding global warming at bay.

Wetlands and healthy riparian habitats help prevent flooding and filter out many contaminates, helping to maintain good water quality in the area.  NCC stewardship actions on riparian areas directly contribute to the health of the lakes and waterways in Manitoba. 

In an agricultural setting, natural areas provide habitat for insect pollinators required for crops.

Is NCC interested in my land?

The majority of lands of interest to NCC host native pasture, wetlands or trees. NCC is interested in partnering with landowners to conserve native plants and animals, many of which are species at risk. We do this through:

Direct purchase of land - NCC pays fair market value using independent third party appraisers for any properties we purchase.

Lease back - Landowners who sell land to NCC may negotiate a lease agreement for continued use of all or portions of the property.

Donations of life interest - Landowners who are concerned about conserving their property for when they pass on / are no longer able to stay on the property may reach an agreement whereby the landowner(s) surrender the title to NCC once they pass on/no longer live on the parcel, and yet receive tax receipts reflecting the appraised value of the donation at the time the agreement is reached.

Conservation easements - NCC purchases conservation easements that allow landowners to retain ownership and use of their property under easement while honouring agreed upon restrictions (e.g. not draining wetlands), ensuring long-term conservation of all of portions of their property.

Donations - Landowners who donate their properties containing native species receive tax receipts reflecting the appraised value of the donation. Donations negotiated through the Federal Eco Gift Program receive treatment that is superior to most other charitable gifts.

What does NCC do with the land?

Grazing - livestock are an essential habitat management tool on many properties

Brush management - to enhance grassland species, improve pasture and consequently biodiversity

Prescribed burns - imitating nature's periodic fires that provide nutrients to the soil and promote new growth on the grasslands

Invasive species control - e.g. Leafy Spurge, Purple Loosestrife

Plant and animal surveys - inventories show the health of the property that can be tracked over several years

Haying - essential on some properties to control forest encroachment into native prairie

Wetland management - e.g. restoration, protection of riparian areas

What about haying and grazing for local producers?

NCC partners with local producers to manage over 7,284 hectares (18,000 acres) of grazing or haying systems.  NCC believes that our landowner partners have some of the best understanding of what happens on the land they live on.  Collaboration with these landowners has made it possible to develop an effective grazing management program that benefits both the local livestock industry and the native grasslands, wetlands and forests that represent some of the most at-risk natural habitats in Canada.

Can the public access NCC lands?

NCC lands are available to the visiting public.  You may wish to:

Hike - Explore the nature in your neighbourhood.  NCC has worked with partners in the local RMs of Stuartburn, Edward and Rossburn to create hiking trails on NCC lands.

Bird watch - Join one of the fastest growing outdoor activities and track a variety of birds through the seasons.

Observe wildlife - Walk softly and quietly, be patient, keep your eyes open wide and gain a rewarding experience that will reduce stress and provide thrills never before experienced.

Photograph wildlife and landscapes - These lands contain intact and unique natural habitats for many different species.

Volunteer for stewardship activities - Conservation Volunteer events offer experiences that provide opportunities to explore unique habitats, see rare species and learn about nature from experts.

Learn - NCC offers a variety of education and outreach programming for schools, youth, seniors and community based groups.  In the RM of Stuartburn we operate The Weston Family Tall Grass Prairie Interpretive Centre.

What about hunting?

Each year, approximately 100 hunters gain a true wilderness experience hunting a variety of game species in several different NCC natural areas throughout southern Manitoba.

Provincially regulated hunting with written permission is allowed on much of NCC lands. 

How does NCC contribute to the economy?

  • NCC is a taxpayer in 20 rural municipalities across Manitoba, providing tax revenue based on Farm Property or Residential 1 rates.
  • NCC provides tax revenue for municipally owned lands when purchased for conservation by NCC.
  • NCC invests in local economies through staff work on NCC lands by employing rural staff and seasonal contractors to work as land managers and assist with fencing, haying, trail maintenance, prescribed burns and other projects.
  • NCC purchases supplies, gas and accommodations locally.

How does NCC contribute to communities and rural municipalities?

  • NCC provides opportunities for tourism, marketing and regional promotion.
  • NCC provides land management on large tracts of land.

Got native species on your land?

If you're curious about the native species of animals living on or plants growing on your property, or if it's a natural area you would like conserved for the enjoyment of future generations, please let us know.

For more information, please contact us:

Winnipeg Office

200-611 Corydon Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba   R3J 0P3
1-866-683-6934 or 204-942-6156

Brandon Office

207-1570 18th Street
Brandon, Manitoba  R7A 5C5



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