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News Release

Government of Canada and Nature Conservancy of Canada Conserve Valuable Habitat in Essex County, Ontario

AMHERSTBURG, Ont. -- August 25, 2011 -- On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's and Essex Region Conservation Authority’s successful acquisition of the Mitchell Woods and the Botsford Woods properties - 31 hectares of land in the Town of Amherstburg in Essex County, Ontario. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program.

“The Government of Canada is very pleased to be working with dedicated partners, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, for the long-term conservation of the biological diversity of Canada's natural treasures,” said Mr. Watson. “The Mitchell Woods property and the Botsford Woods property, both part of the Canard River Conservation Area, represent ecologically significant areas that are home to important plant and animal species at risk, including Kentucky Coffee trees.”

The riparian forest along the Canard River contains the longest stretch of continuous woodland in Essex County.

“This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program. With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations,” said Minister Kent. “Your actions today will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that will constitute an integral part of our natural heritage tomorrow.”

“These projects are the result of incredible partnerships with the Government of Canada and Essex Region Conservation Authority,” said Chris Maher, Ontario Regional Vice President for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “Together we have built a strong conservation legacy in Essex County.”

The Government of Canada's $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada’s environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. As of March 2011, the Natural Areas Conservation Program has protected 160,796 hectares of habitat, which includes habitat for 101 species at risk. It is through the ongoing contribution from all donors that we can ensure the protection of natural areas in Canada.

Related document:

Natural Areas Conservation Program [Backgrounder 2011-06-20]

For more information, please see the attached backgrounder or contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment
819-997-1441

Media Relations
Environment Canada
819-934-8008

Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca

Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan

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