NCC Completes Largest Private Land Conservation Project in New Brunswick’s History
In the largest-ever private land conservation project in New Brunswick, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is protecting 853 hectares (2,106 acres) of forested land, including vital Atlantic salmon habitat on the Bartholomew River, a tributary of the Miramichi River.
With Atlantic salmon in dramatic decline, and the Miramichi watershed believed to produce more wild salmon than any other river in North America, the establishment of this reserve is a significant conservation milestone for NCC and New Brunswick.
The property includes increasingly-rare old Acadian forest, 5 km of treed shoreline along the Bartholomew River, and deep, cold water pools which are integral to the health of salmon as they move upstream to spawn.
The property will be called the Foxner Nature Reserve, based on a contraction of the former property owners’ names: Brian and Carolyn Fox, and Carl and Ann Faulkner. The two couples made the land donation under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program which provides tax incentives for individuals who donate ecologically significant land.
The $1.3 million conservation project received wide support from New Brunswickers, including a significant financial donation from former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna, in honour of his friend Bob Kenny, a salmon conservation advocate.
This conservation project was supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. Funding was also provided by the Regional Development Corporation, NB Environmental Trust Fund, TransCanada Corporation, New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, Echo Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co-op and many local residents also provided funding.
The Foxner Nature Reserve is the first property protected by NCC in the Miramichi Watershed. Nature Conservancy of Canada held a formal announcement today in the City of Miramichi, in honour of the land donors and partners.
The announcement was attended by the Member of Parliament for Miramichi-Grand Lake Pat Finnigan, the Honourable Frank McKenna, The Honourable Bill Fraser, New Brunswick Minister for Transportation and Miramichi Funds, Miramichi Deputy Mayor Adam Lordon along with other local government representatives and NCC supporters.
The Foxner Nature Reserve is located next to the Dungarvon Whooper Protected Natural Area, established by the Province of New Brunswick. Together the two reserves create a continuous wilderness and wildlife corridor between the Dungarvon and Bartholomew Rivers of more than 10,000 acres.
In addition to protecting valuable salmon habitat, the Foxner Nature Reserve also provides excellent habitat for wildlife and many species of birds.
“We want to thank our many donors for their vision and support in assisting with this landmark project, NCC’s first reserve in the Miramichi. New Brunswick is world-renowned for Atlantic salmon, and this project will permanently protect some of the most pristine salmon habitat and old forest in the Miramichi.”
Paula Noel, New Brunswick Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada.
“The Government of Canada is proud to support the environmental efforts of individual Canadians and their communities through the Natural Areas Conservation Program and the Ecological Gifts Program. This investment will ensure the diverse river habitat and species at risk in the Miramichi Watershed are protected and given a chance to thrive.”
Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“I want to thank the Fox and the Faulkner families and congratulate the Nature Conservancy of Canada on the new nature reserve. Together with the support of the Government of Canada, we are working to conserve the natural beauty of the world-renowned Miramichi River system for generations to come.”
Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi —Grand Lake
“It is a privilege to be involved in the largest conservation project in New Brunswick’s history. I commend the Nature Conservancy of Canada for being a leader in protecting special places in this province. I also want to recognize the Faulkner and Fox families for their vision and for generously entrusting these lands. It is an honor to make a contribution for my friend Robert (Bob) Kenny. Bob was a fishing enthusiast, a passionate salmon conservationist and supporter of the Miramichi. More importantly, Bob Kenny was a wonderful human being. I am sure he is smiling today knowing these waters will continue to be enjoyed and preserved for future generations.”
Honourable Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group and former Premier of New Brunswick
• The Miramichi Watershed has the largest Atlantic salmon run in North America.
• The 5 km (3 miles) of river encompassed by this project contain eight salmon pools, including the only two cold-water holding pools along the entire river. These deep holding pools are important for regulating the temperature and health of fish as they move upstream to spawn. American eel, striped bass and Arctic char are also found in the Miramichi watershed.
• Three COSEWIC-listed ‘at-risk’ species of birds have been identified on the property: eastern wood pewee, common nighthawk and rusty blackbird. The reserve also provides habitat for wildlife such as moose, black bear, coyote, weasels, beaver, snowshoe hare, black ducks, teals and mallards and other waterfowl, as well as turtles and amphibians.
• This Nature Conservancy of Canada project will protect Acadian forest, the most diverse temperate forest in the world; eastern white cedar, eastern hemlock, American beech, red spruce, sugar maple, yellow birch, white pine, black ash, and other types of trees are found on the reserve.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation’s leading land conservation charity, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 1.1 million hectares (over 2.8 million acres), coast to coast.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has helped to conserve more than 7,700 hectares (19,000 acres) in New Brunswick, and has established 32 nature reserves. For further information visit: www.NatureConservancy.ca/NB.
The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership led by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). To date, $345 million has been invested in the NACP by the Government of Canada to secure our natural heritage. Additionally, more than $470 million in matching contributions has been raised by NCC and its partners.
To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, please visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/pde-egp/.
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