The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) has just purchased 34.4 hectares (85 acres) of land comprised of the most diverse and least disturbed bog within the Lake Simcoe watershed.
"Acquiring this sizeable piece of land is a major coup for LSRCA," said Virginia Hackson, Mayor of East Gwillimbury and Chair of LSRCA. "We are unwavering in our commitment to protect our watershed and adding this parcel of environmentally significant land to our holdings improves our chances of saving precious bird, animal and plant habitats from degradation or destruction."
Located in Durham Region, the land, known as the Derryville Bog was purchased by LSRCA through support from the Natural Spaces Land Acquisition Program, (a joint initiative of the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Ministry of Natural Resources) Durham Region and private donors. The Derryville Bog is designated as a provincially significant wetland and biological area of natural and scientific interest. The bog is home to Canada Warblers, a bird species at risk of extinction, a regionally rare butterfly species called the Brown Elfin and over 30 species of significant plants and other animals.
LSRCA now owns a total of 1525 hectares (3,767 acres) of environmentally sensitive lands including 21 conservation areas, 9 natural heritage areas, wetlands, upland forests and Lake Simcoe shoreline. LSRCA also manages 617 hectares (1,125 acres) of forested tracts and natural, cultural heritage lands.
"Through the acquisition and management of ecologically sensitive lands, LSRCA is working to preserve the essential values associated with plants and animals, improved air quality and safe drinking water in order to maintain a better quality of life for those living, working and recreating in the Lake Simcoe watershed," said LSRCA's Land Securement Officer, Kevin Kennedy.
The conservation authority strives to protect environmentally sensitive lands including wetland complexes, marsh and bog lands because they perform a critical function in improving the health of Lake Simcoe. These tracts of land, largely undisturbed by human activity, also provide critical wildlife habitats and protected areas to support breeding and nesting.