OLTA celebrates the Natural Heritage Conservation Program

The Government of Canada has confirmed its commitment to land conservation; on April 24, 2019, it was announced there will be $100M of funding over 4 years to support the establishment of new protected and conserved areas by land trusts in southern Canada.

The Natural Heritage Conservation Program will be delivered by Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and its partners, including Ducks Unlimited Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada and the Canadian Land Trusts Working Group. The program will assist local, provincial and national conservation land trusts in securing land from private landowners, as well as to secure private interests (e.g. forest tenures) on land in order to establish new protected and conserved areas.

The new program will establish at least 200,000 hectares of newly protected land and freshwater, especially in southern Canada where nature and wildlife faces the greatest pressures and where the majority of land is privately owned. The program will also contribute directly to reaching Canada’s goal of doubling the amount of nature protected in our lands and oceans.

Left to right: Alison Howson (OLTA), John Lounds (NCC), Susan Walmer (Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust), The Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment), Cameron Mack (Wildlife Habitat Canada), Karla Guyn (Ducks Unlimited Canada), Bill Lougheed (OLTA and Georgian Bay Land Trust), Marilou Bourdages (Réseau de milieux naturels protégés).

OLTA’s Executive Director, Alison Howson along with Bill Lougheed, OLTA Governor and Executive Director, Georgian Bay Land Trust and Susan Walmer, Executive Director, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust are part of a coalition of land trust organizations nationally (Canadian Land Trusts Working Group) who have been working together with NCC to develop the community land trust piece of this program. More details about this program will be released soon.

“The Ontario Land Trust Alliance is very grateful to be part of this program. A program that will provide real measurable benefits to ecosystem protection. Support for community based private land conservation provides significant positive impacts to highly sensitive, highly biodiverse, threated habitats and ecosystems such as those found in Southern Ontario. The support shown by the Canadian government will help community and regional land trusts of all sizes to provide big wins for biodiversity across Canada.” – Alison Howson, Ontario Land Trust Alliance

The Canadian Land Trusts Working Group is an adhoc working group with representatives of community and provincial land trusts from the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Alberta, plus representatives from the regional alliances of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

For more information:

Alison Howson – OLTA Executive Director, 416-588-6582, alison.howson@olta.ca