|Securing Natural Areas through Acquisition
Securing our best natural areas
often requires purchase by public agencies as national, provincial
or regional protected areas or by non-profit conservation
organizations such as land trusts. Conservation easements are a
means of acquiring a partial interest property, rather than
outright purchase. Not all natural areas can or should be secured
in these ways, but a system of permanent protected areas should
include many natural areas in the Carolinian zone. Private land
stewardship and land use planning will also provide conservation
for a large number of natural areas.
National Parks like Point
Pelee and National Wildlife Areas like Long
Point and St. Clair are areas where the federal government
have protected some of Carolinian Canada's best habitat. National
Marine Conservation Areas are a new type of protected area to
protected important aquatic habitats in the Great Lakes and ocean
coasts. Carolinian Canada hopes a National Marine Conservation
Area will be established for Lake Erie. Nature Conservancy of
Canada has worked with the federal government to secure natural
areas such as Middle Island which is now managed s part of Point
Pelee National Park.
The federal government also offers
income tax incentive for landowners wishing to donate
ecologically significant land to conservation groups. The Eastern
Habitat Joint Venture also brings together U.S. and Canadian
federal and provincial governments and private organizations to
secure waterbird habitat.
Parks has a network of 20
provincial parks across the Carolinian zone that protect
many key habitats and provide recreation for many of us. Rondeau,
Short Hills, Ojibway Prairie and Turkey Point protect some of the
best Carolinian habitat. Nature reserve class provincial parks
protect particularly sensitive habitats and species. The Ministry
of Natural Resources also secures conservation reserves and
provincial wildlife areas. St.
Williams Crown Land has recently been proposed as a
conservation reserve and would be one of the largest protected
areas in the region. The provincial Ecological Land Acquisition
Program provides funding for land and easement acquisition by many
different conservation groups.
Conservation lands owned by conservation
authorities cover about 8,000 hectares in the Carolinian
zone, by far the largest amount of conservation land in the
region. Many of these areas were among the 1984 Carolinian Canada critical
natural areas. Backus Woods, Springwater Forest, Dundas
Misery are among only a few of many sites across the
region. Municipalities, the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Niagara
Parks Commission and other public sector organizations also own
significant conservation lands in the region.
Conservancy of Canada has secured many natural areas
across the Carolinian zone, often under partnership with Ontario
Parks or other public agencies. Bickford Oak Woods, Clear Creek
Forest and Middle Island are among some of the major land
acquisition projects in the last few years. Private land
trusts and naturalists' clubs are a growing force
in securing conservation lands across Ontario and have banded
together as the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.