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Nature Conservancy secures land

Jun 24 2010

Centuries of land clearing for agriculture and wood harvest have made cedar trees on P.E.I. a rarity but a portion of what’s left of them will now be protected.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has secured a piece of land rich with the scarce cedar tree and a natural habitat for a diverse collection of plants and wildlife, to be protected and conserved on the Island, it was announced Wednesday during a news conference at the Rodd in Charlottetown.
Doug Deacon, regional board member of the Atlantic region with the NCC, made the announcement along with federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea and George Webster, P.E.I. minister of Agriculture and deputy premier.

The conservation of the 60-acre piece of land, called Pleasant View Cedars, is located in the Black Pond area about 13 kilometres southwest of Tignish and is part of the government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program.

Pleasant View Cedars is one of 10 NCC gifts to Canadians this year, with one in each province, and is a result of the partnership between the NCC, the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture, the province of P.E.I. and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The land is one of 25 areas protected by the NCC and its partners on P.E.I.

Diane Griffin, program manager for P.E.I. with the NCC, was involved in the process to secure the land and said the area was targeted because of the unique blend of cedars and natural wooded swamp areas.

“(We identified the land) primarily because of the really large cedars that are getting very scarce on P.E.I.,” Griffin said.
Shea, who grew up near the area now protected, said even though development of land is important for tourism, it’s also important to sustain natural areas on P.E.I.

“P.E.I. is a haven for tourists and a heaven for us but at the same time, we have to have a balance with the ecosystem,” Shea said.
As important as it is to care for the environment for our own needs, we also have to look after it for the needs of plants and animals, Shea said during her speech.

The NCC will turn ownership of the property over to the province at the end of the summer.


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