Memorial land donation announced in Manitoba

February 18, 2019
Winnipeg, MB


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has announced a memorial land donation in Manitoba. The not-for-profit group is celebrating the generous support of a local family and the protection of a property near Riding Mountain National Park.  

The Bob Mickelson Conservation Lands are a diverse 169-hectare (418-acre) property. They consist of grasslands, wetlands, forests and even a lake, all of which are home to many different species of plants and wildlife.

The project was announced this morning at a news event in Winnipeg. Joining NCC staff and the Mickelson family was Terry Duguid, MP (Winnipeg South), on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Bob Mickelson, a long-time resident in the area, had an affinity for nature. He preferred to spend time riding his horses and enjoying the diverse landscapes on this section of his property. By setting aside this land as a conservation area in his name, the family is paying tribute to Bob’s love of nature and animals, as well as the Mickelson family’s long history in the Roblin area.

Forests located within the Bob Mickelson Conservation Lands enhance the property’s diversity by providing nesting cover, feeding and breeding grounds for many birds, amphibians and mammals, such as moose and elk. The property is home to several waterfowl species and species at risk, including Canada warbler, eastern wood-pewee, bobolink and northern leopard frog.  

The Bob Mickelson Conservation Lands have been used for grazing cattle for over 30 years and will be continue to be grazed. Good pasture management is an important tool to maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity values of many of Manitoba's habitats and providing resistance to and a buffer against climate variations.

The conservation of these lands for the long term is both an honour to the memory of Bob Mickelson and a benefit to all Canadians. Visionary people like the Mickelsons are the lifeblood of NCC's work, along with the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation program.  

This is the 139th project by NCC in Manitoba, through the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP). A total of 15,954 hectares (39,423 acres) of important habitat have been preserved by NCC in Manitoba under this program. This federal program has made a difference in the province, helping accelerate the pace of land conservation and encouraging Canadians to entrust their lands to NCC, for today and the future generations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Qualico and other individual donors also supported the conservation of the Mickelson Conservation Lands.


“It is with thanks to the foresight of families like the Mickelsons and the vision of the federal government that we can partner together to make a better tomorrow for all Canadians” said Kevin Teneycke, Acting Regional Vice-President with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Manitoba. “It’s been an honour to work with the family to create a lasting legacy.”

“On behalf of my colleague Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, I want to thank the Mickelson family for donating land for the Bob Mickelson Conservation Lands. Their generosity has meant that important grasslands, wetlands, forests and a lake here in Manitoba, are now protected for future generations. Conservation initiatives like this and efforts of partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada are helping Canada meet it’s goal of doubling the amount of protected nature across Canada.”

Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South

“Our family felt it was important to provide a lasting memory of Bob and the land he loved,” says Jim Mickelson, Bob Mickelson’s brother. “We are proud to have been able to work with the Nature Conservancy to designate these new conservation lands in his name.”


  • This is the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s 83rd project acquired under the Natural Areas Conservation Program in and around the Riding Mountain Natural Area.   Partnering with families and willing private landowners, this has resulted in the conservation of 7,718 hectares (19,071 acres) of key habitat.
  • The NACP has assisted NCC in securing habitat for 17 species at risk in the Riding Mountain region. These include: American badger (special concern), monarch butterfly (special concern), and several species of birds, such as golden-winged warbler (threatened), barn swallow (threatened) and bobolink (threatened).
  • NCC has worked with producers to implement species-at-risk-friendly grazing, haying and other agricultural management across thousands of hectares of in the Riding Mountain Natural Area. 
  • Some of the funding for these conservation projects were provided under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to secure significant habitat for migratory species of birds. 
  • These projects are important in reaching NCC’s commitments to the collective goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan to maintain and enhance waterfowl populations and habitats important for them.


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 protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast, with more than 26,000 hectares (65,000 acres) across nine natural areas critical to Manitoba’s biodiversity.  

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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