Hastings Wildlife Junction, ON. Photo by Birchbark Media.

Hastings Wildlife Junction, ON. Photo by Birchbark Media.

Hastings Wildlife Junction

Hastings Wildlife Junction, ON. Photo by Birchbark Media.

Hastings Wildlife Junction, ON. Photo by Birchbark Media.

Located in southern Ontario, this 5,000-hectare project is the critical next step to lessen the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has an amazing opportunity to protect and care for 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of significant forests and wetlands south of Bancroft, Ontario. Located at the junctions of the Algonquin to Adirondacks and The Land Between corridors, a project of this magnitude and ecological significance is staggeringly rare in southern Ontario. The property's features provide essential ecosystem services and will help slow the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss.

The Hastings Wildlife Junction boasts extensive interior forest with an astonishing 98 per cent of natural cover, significant rivers and wetlands. The natural area is adjacent to 30,000 hectares (74,131 acres) of Crown lands that have been specially designated as enhanced management areas.

Quick facts

  • Location: Hastings County
  • Habitat type: forests, wetlands, rivers, creeks
  • Size: 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres), part of a larger 8,000-hectare (20,000-acre) goal
  • Shoreline: 86 kilometres
  • Species: wide-ranging mammals, like eastern wolf, black bear, moose, pine marten, successfully reintroduced elk, and several species of rare birds and turtles

Conservation to lessen the impacts of climate change

Crowe River at Hastings Wildlife Junction (Photo by NCC)

Crowe River at Hastings Wildlife Junction (Photo by NCC)

The Hastings Wildlife Junction’s forests and wetlands provide essential ecosystem services to the region and beyond. This includes carbon storage, removal of air pollution and flood water storage. The carbon sequestration and storage benefits of the property are important in our collective efforts to reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

This project within the Lake Ontario watershed and headwaters for the Bay of Quinte is particularly critical for maintaining water quality for both aquatic life and downstream communities from Toronto to Kingston.

The property provides an excellent example of the scale we need to work at in order to reduce the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss in Canada and have an unparalleled impact at a national and global scale. 

Connecting corridors

Hastings Wildlife Junction property context map - click to enlarge

Hastings Wildlife Junction property context map - click to enlarge

The Hastings Wildlife Junction is located at the intersections of the Algonquin to Adirondacks and The Land Between Corridors. The Land Between corridor is where the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence lowlands ecoregion transitions to the Canadian Shield. This region is very high in biodiversity and provides some of the best habitat we have left for many species at risk.

By expanding the amount of conserved land within the connection of these two corridors, the Hastings Wildlife Junction will play a vital role in protecting biodiversity by allowing species to move freely from one habitat to another. That is why we have called this area the Central Ontario Corridors Natural Area.

An area under pressure

Deer at Hastings Wildlife Junction. (Photo by Chelsea Marcantonio)

Deer at Hastings Wildlife Junction. (Photo by Chelsea Marcantonio)

Over the last 150 years, many species and habitats in Canada have been declining. This decline has been more dramatic in southern Canada, especially southern Ontario. This is where much of the province’s population is located and where there is a long history of settlement and related agricultural, urban and industrial land uses.

Development pressures are on the rise in the area. In 2021, Bancroft, the business and recreational hub for North Hastings County, was named best spot to buy real estate in Canada by MoneySense.

The area's significant biodiversity and ecosystem benefits, as well as the growing threat of development in this area, make this land a critical step in landscape-scale conservation in southern Ontario.

The landowner has generously agreed to donate the majority of the property. They are working with NCC to have the land certified as an Ecological Gift. Before we can accept a partial donation of lands, we must raise funds to cover the remaining land cost, the associated costs for the acquisition, the creation of a property management plan and investment in a stewardship fund to ensure this ecologically significant property is well cared for over the long term.

The Hastings Wildlife Junction project will be split into two phases. Our immediate goal is to conserve 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) in phase one. NCC needs to raise to raise $3.2 million this winter to complete this phase of the Hasting Wildlife Junction project

Please consider a gift or a multi-year pledge to help us protect and care for the Hastings Wildlife Junction.

Donate to Hastings Wildlife Junction

For more information or to discuss your donation options, please contact:

Pia Kaukoranta Vahabi
Acting Director, Development and Communications | Ontario Region
pia.vahabi@natureconservancy.ca | 416.220.3784

A natural legacy

When it comes to conserving Canada’s most important natural areas, acquiring land is just the beginning. Stewardship — managing the land for the long term — is at the heart of what we do. Each and every property we protect is monitored and managed so that the ecosystems are maintained and species thrive, even if that means leaving them be. This can include mapping and removing invasive species or restoring wetlands, grasslands and forests. It can also mean monitoring for species at risk, planting native species, building trails or installing signage.

To continue to care for the natural areas we protect, NCC has created a Stewardship Endowment Fund. This fund provides annual support for our priority stewardship work across Ontario. Annual benefits from the endowment fund are used to pay the costs necessary to ensure efficient and long-term, science-based management of lands under NCC’s care. NCC may explore and/or create carbon market-based mechanisms on new projects, like Hastings, to help fund our conservation work.

NCC may direct all or a portion of gifts committed to this project to NCC’s Stewardship Endowment Fund for Ontario. Revenue generated by the Stewardship Endowment Fund provides support for long-term management on properties across the province, including NCC conservation lands in the Hasting Wildlife Junction. In the event that this project becomes fully funded or cannot be carried out, your gift will be allocated to the next urgent priority in the Central Ontario Corridors natural area.

Donations may be made by cheque, stock transfer or credit card through the link below. Cheques should be made payable to “Nature Conservancy of Canada” and mailed to 410-245 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P 3J1. Please indicate either in the memo portion of your cheque or in a note accompanying your donation that your gift is for “Central ON Corridors – Hastings Wildlife Junction.” If a U.S. tax deduction could be more advantageous, NCC works in partnership with a registered U.S. charity (American Friends of Canadian Nature) and we would be pleased to explore options with you.

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