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Carolinian Canada Program Highlights
- 38 Critical unprotected sites identified. Basis of future projects.
- Natural Heritage Stewardship Program: Carolinian Canada was the first major conservation program that used a private stewardship approach in Canada. This approach is now widely accepted as a necessary and effective means of land protection in regions that are predominantly privately owned.
- 52% of the privately owned land in the 38 Carolinian sites was enrolled in the stewardship program.
- Publications for landowners: Fact Sheet Series; Caring For Your Land : a stewardship guide; Tree Planting Guide to Carolinian Canada; and Walks In Carolinian Canada.
- 600 ha. Of threatened properties were purchased, including outstanding portions of Skunk's Misery (Middlesex County), Windsor's Ojibway Tallgrass Prairie and Pelee Island.
- Property acquisitions under the program are protecting the habitat of Canadian endangered species, such as the Karner Blue butterfly, Blue Racer snake, and the Acadian Flycatcher, to name just a few.
- Sponsorship of over 40 local conservation field projects to protect endangered species and threatened habitats.
- Annual Regional Conservation Forum: brings together conservation interests to focus on key issues.
- The Big Picture: a digital, bioregional conservation blueprint to guide the restoration and recovery of Carolinian Canada's natural heritage systems.
Conservation Strategy and the Big Picture
In 1996, after 12 years of program activities, our review found that biodiversity remained at risk and that serious threats to the land and water loomed on the horizon. Carolinian Canada commissioned its Conservation Strategy to map out a new approach to conservation. This approach is community oriented, addresses the entire landscape rather than individual sites, and builds broad support by including non-traditional partners.
The key to implementing a bioregional vision for conservation and recovery is The Big Picture. The best available natural heritage data for the region was combined, and then subjected to an analysis to project a network of core areas and connecting links. The resulting vision of a sustainable natural heritage network provides a framework for restoration and recovery efforts.
The state of the environment in Carolinian Canada is seriously degraded. The losses of forest, wetland and other natural areas has been profound. In particular, concerns about water quality and quantity now threaten human health, agricultural land and industrial productivity. The Big Picture was developed with input from more than 20 conservation organizations and agencies and represents a guide to our "best bets" for conservation work in the future.