Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

The Couchiching Conservancy applauds the announcement in the 2018 federal budget that significant new funds will be earmarked to protect Canada’s nature, parks, wild spaces and species at risk.

The investment of $1.3-billion over five years affirms Canada’s commitment to protecting our lands and our waters and the variety of species they sustain. Conservation of our natural areas ensures our country will remain a place where people want to live, work and invest. Protecting the environment and growing our economy go hand in hand.

"We're really pleased to see the federal government putting a priority on protecting our cherished landscapes," said Executive Director Mark Bisset. "The Couchiching Conservancy has protected more than 1,000 acres in this region in the last 15 months and we can do much more with the right tools. This budget is recognizing the importance of private land conservation and setting the stage for some powerful partnerships."

The budget states: “The Government of Canada proposes to make historic investments totalling $1.3-billion over five years, one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history — a true legacy for our children and grandchildren. This investment will contribute $500-million from the federal government to create a new $1-billion Nature Fund in partnership with corporate, not-for profit, provincial, territorial and other partners.

Budget 2018 supports Canada Target 1 — the pledge to protect 17-percent of our land and inland waters and 10-percent of our coastal and marine areas by the end of the decade. Around the world, countries are forging ahead to reach these global targets by 2020. CC is pleased to see the Government of Canada charting a pathway to meet these goals, with a meaningful investment in public, private and Indigenous protected areas.

"We think people in this area really care about their natural places. We have a pledge signed by more than 2,000 people that supports the work of the conservancy and we know there are many more out there who want to see nature kept close," Bisset said. "The conservancy and land trusts right across the country can help Canada meet its conservation goals. We're ready and willing."

Throughout Canada, critical conservation work is being done on local and regional scales by the country’s land trusts. As community-driven, non-profit conservation organizations, land trusts work to protect important natural areas for the benefit of all by holding land in trust for future generations. Support by the federal government through the Natural Areas Conservation Program is an essential factor in land trusts’ ability to conduct their work and create protected natural areas in communities across the country.

The Couchiching Conservancy is one of the leading regional land trusts in Ontario. A non-government, charitable organization, it has helped protect close to 5260 hectares of important natural habitat in the Lake Couchiching region since 1993. Wherever possible, the lands are accessible to the public for the responsible enjoyment of nature.

Article courtesy of Couchiching Conservancy. Photos courtesy of Tanya Clark, Development Coordinator, Couchiching Conservancy

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