In 2016, over 2000 members, supporters, and residents signed The Couchiching Conservancy’s 17% Pledge supporting the vital role that land trusts play in helping Canada meet their new 17% target for protected natural areas across the country. Launching this pledge just seemed like the right thing to do and we were blown away by how many of you also saw the importance of meeting this target. We applaud the leadership role that our federal government was taking in protecting natural areas and biodiversity.
Your signature meant so much. It motivated us to create an objective in our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, to submit Conservancy protected lands into Canada’s database, and it held us accountable to achieve this. Last fall, fulfilling this objective, we took a further step towards the 17% target of protected areas. We compiled information on the 25 wholly-owned Conservancy Nature Reserves to count 3432 acres* towards this federal target. We worked closely with Provincial government staff gathering and correcting data and by December, sent in the final summary of the 25 Couchiching Conservancy Nature Reserves.
We are now very pleased to announce that your local Nature Reserves were accepted into Canada’s database as official Protected Areas! Thanks to your signature and support, these Nature Reserves are not only counted towards the federal target but are now recognized as protected areas that are managed to national and international standards.
We would like to thank Ontario Parks staff for helping us through the process. This recognition gives us a powerful tool to use as we continue to champion the wild spaces of this region.
* The 3432 acres is only simple fee properties, only 23% of the total land you help protect.
Photo: Adam's Nature Reserve by T. Rowland