Winter 2021 Magazine

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WINTER <strong>2021</strong><br />

A landmark<br />

achievement<br />

Celebrating your impact for nature, today and tomorrow

*<br />

Conserve, connect<br />

and inspire<br />

W<br />

e all need good news in the midst of challenging<br />

times. That’s why I’m so pleased to be able to<br />

celebrate with you the success of the Nature<br />

Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Landmark Campaign. The<br />

campaign was designed to conserve our country’s precious<br />

natural areas and the wildlife that depend on them, connect<br />

more Canadians than ever before to our country’s natural<br />

landscapes and inspire the next generation of conservation<br />

leaders. As you’ll read in this special issue of the NCC <strong>Magazine</strong>,<br />

not only did we meet these goals, we exceeded them.<br />

Donors from communities across Canada mobilized like never<br />

before to protect nature, and together you donated more<br />

than $750 million dollars.<br />

As Canadians, we are fortunate to have been given an<br />

incredible gift: the unparalleled majesty of nature in this<br />

country, the wildlife that lives in it and the benefits these<br />

places provide to people. Like thousands of you, I believe<br />

it’s our responsibility to conserve these lands, waters and<br />

wildlife, not just for Canadians, but for the rest of the world.<br />

I am truly grateful for the people who have volunteered<br />

their time, including our campaign co-chairs, Hal Kvisle and<br />

Brian Tobin, as well as every one of you who entrusted your<br />

gifts to NCC to help us surpass our campaign goals. Your<br />

commitment inspires us to get our important work done. The<br />

conservation impact of the Landmark Campaign is being felt<br />

right across the country.<br />

As you’ll read in these pages, NCC’s mission is now more<br />

urgent than ever. The next decade is going to be very important<br />

for conservation in Canada. We will need to connect more Canadians<br />

from all walks of life and all backgrounds to our cause.<br />

By continuing to work together, we can build on the foundation<br />

achieved through the amazing Landmark Campaign,<br />

and ensure a sustainable future for Canadians and the world.<br />

Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

245 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 410<br />

Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 3J1<br />

magazine@natureconservancy.ca<br />

Phone: 416.932.3202<br />

Toll-free: 877.231.3552<br />

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s<br />

leading land conservation organization, working to protect<br />

our most important natural areas and the species they<br />

sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to<br />

protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to<br />

coast to coast.<br />

The Nature Conservancy of Canada <strong>Magazine</strong> is distributed to<br />

donors and supporters of NCC.<br />

TM<br />

Trademarks owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.<br />

Thank you,<br />

Elana Rosenfeld<br />

Elana Rosenfeld<br />

National Board Chair and National Campaign Cabinet Member<br />

Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

PS – Want to experience some of the wonderful places you<br />

helped protect? Visit nccnaturescapes.ca for a virtual tour.<br />

FSC is not responsible for any calculations on<br />

saving resources by choosing this paper.<br />

Printed on Supreme Silk paper, which contains 30%<br />

post-consumer fibre, is Processed Chlorine Free certified<br />

and manufactured with Renewable energy. Printed in<br />

Canada with vegetable-based, VOC FREE inks by Warrens<br />

Waterless Printing. This publication saved 25 trees and<br />

88,796 litres of water*.<br />


2 WINTER <strong>2021</strong>

Big Trout Bay, Ontario<br />



WINTER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

4 Landmark Campaign impact<br />

Your impact by the numbers.<br />

6 A signature achievement<br />

Thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast<br />

took conservation into their own hands and gave to<br />

save the lands and waters that sustain us all.<br />

10 Map: Projects across the country<br />

Together, we mobilized to deliver a historic and lasting<br />

impact for nature and conserved 115,000 square<br />

kilometres with 540 new conservation projects<br />

completed across Canada.<br />

16 Conservation in action<br />

Helping species at risk, the impact of Conservation<br />

Volunteers, and government support.<br />

18 The work has just begun<br />

Past president and CEO, John Lounds, and new president<br />

and CEO, Catherine Grenier, on the accomplishments of<br />

the Landmark Campaign and what’s next.<br />

19 Thank you to our Nature Legacy<br />

Society members<br />

Your legacy gift and passion for nature helped us reach<br />

our Landmark Campaign goals.<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

WINTER <strong>2021</strong> 3

Landmark<br />

Campaign<br />

impact<br />

Thank you for supporting the<br />

Nature Conservancy of Canada’s<br />

Landmark Campaign. Together,<br />

we mobilized to deliver a historic<br />

and lasting impact for nature.<br />

Thousands of Canadians, from<br />

coast to coast to coast, took<br />

conservation into their own hands<br />

and gave to save the lands and<br />

waters that sustain us all.<br />


Conserved an additional 115,000 square kilometres.<br />

That’s more than 1.5 times the size of New Brunswick.<br />

• Brings NCC total conserved lands to 14 million hectares (35 million acres).<br />

• 540 new conservation projects completed across Canada.<br />

PEOPLE<br />

18,000 volunteers rolled up their sleeves<br />

to care for nature.<br />

Launched the careers of young conservation<br />

leaders, through over 460 internships.<br />


Protected habitat for<br />

130 species at risk<br />

• 10 more threatened than the giant panda.<br />

• 7 found nowhere else in the world.<br />


More than $750 million raised<br />

for nature conservation<br />

• 1.1 million donations.<br />

• 110,000 donors.<br />


More than 300,000 Canadians connected to nature<br />

• 94 per cent of Canadians live within 100 kilometres of a Landmark Campaign project.<br />

• Launched 36 new Nature Destinations, allowing Canadians to benefit physically and<br />

mentally by spending more time in nature.<br />


4 WINTER <strong>2021</strong> natureconservancy.ca

I’ve always found peace in the<br />

beauty of mountains, forests and<br />

water. They remind me of how<br />

lucky we are to live in a country<br />

with such rich natural areas, and<br />

how easy it is to enjoy them, no<br />

matter the time of year.<br />

I realized the need to help protect<br />

Canada’s natural heritage early<br />

on. As in my finance work, where<br />

I must engage in meticulous<br />

analyses, I was careful in selecting<br />

a nature-based organization to<br />

donate to. The Nature Conservancy<br />

of Canada seemed to me the best<br />

choice, due to its unparalleled<br />

mission, its work and its efficiency.<br />

In today’s society, it’s easy to think<br />

that we can’t make a difference.<br />

However, when you can help<br />

someone appreciate a cause that<br />

is close to your heart, it seems<br />

anything is possible. It’s that<br />

lightness, the adrenaline and sense<br />

of accomplishment when the<br />

distance is run that we must keep<br />

in mind every day in our struggle<br />

for a healthier environment.<br />


Jean-Michel<br />

Beaulieu<br />

Leader in Conservation and<br />

Nature Legacy Society member<br />


A signature<br />

achievement<br />

The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Landmark Campaign has led to a 115,000-squarekilometre<br />

expansion of protected lands and waters, made possible by donations from<br />

110,000 Canadians from all regions and walks of life<br />

BY Brian Banks, award-winning writer and journalist<br />


6 WINTER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Cockburn Island may be the seventhlargest<br />

island in the Great Lakes, but it’s not<br />

exactly a household name. In conservation<br />

circles, however, it’s on everyone’s radar.<br />

Located in northern Lake Huron, west of<br />

Manitoulin Island, the 17,000-hectare (42,000-acre) island<br />

is home to one of the largest intact hardwood forest and<br />

coastal ecosystems in southern Ontario. It provides habitat<br />

for many globally significant plants and animals and is an<br />

important stopover site and breeding area for migratory<br />

songbirds and waterfowl.<br />

That’s why, for nearly a decade, and with the support<br />

of thousands of donors, the Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

(NCC) has led an international effort to protect it. That<br />

work began in 2012 and, since 2013, continued as a signature<br />

embodiment of the vision of NCC’s national Landmark<br />

Campaign — a just-concluded eight-year drive that raised<br />

in excess of the campaign’s goal of $750 million for conservation,<br />

thanks to 1.1 million donations. This led to the<br />

expansion of NCC’s network of protected lands and waters<br />

by a record-breaking 115,000 square kilometres. There’s<br />

no question; the campaign has been a resounding success.<br />

Along with all of the property protected and money<br />

raised, the third measure of the Landmark Campaign’s<br />

success is the 110,000 donors — Canadians from all regions<br />

and walks of life and beyond — who came together<br />

to save the lands and waters that sustain us all. Perhaps<br />

even more impressive, two thirds of these donors were<br />

inspired to give for the first time, and nearly 100,000 gave<br />

under $1,000, emphasizing that every donation counts.<br />

“NCC listened to Canadians and their vision for a better<br />

world, and turned it into a tangible goal that Canadians<br />

responded to,” says Kyria Knibb-McLuhan, senior director,<br />

campaign and development operations at NCC.<br />

For two of those donors, Jan Oudenes and Isobel<br />

Ralston, Cockburn Island was their entry point into the<br />

campaign. In 2017, the Toronto-area couple sold a successful<br />

business and retired. Ardent paddlers and hikers,<br />


Cockburn Island, ON. Inset: Volunteers tree planting, ON.<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

WINTER <strong>2021</strong> 7

Waldron Ranch, Alberta<br />

they then decided to commit the next chapter<br />

of their lives and their accumulated<br />

wealth to helping address climate change and<br />

biodiversity loss. To do that, they created<br />

MapleCross, a self-funded enterprise with<br />

a mission to protect Canada’s natural<br />

environment by supporting organizations<br />

that conserve ecologically sensitive land.<br />

“We started talking with NCC and they<br />

mentioned Cockburn Island,” says Ralston.<br />

At the time, in early 2019, NCC was trying to<br />

raise funds to acquire an additional 586-hectare<br />

(1,450-acre) parcel to add to the 60 per cent<br />

of Cockburn Island already secured. Like<br />

most people, Jan and Isobel had never heard<br />

of it. But once they learned of the island’s<br />

ecological value and the protection and stewardship<br />

plan already in place, they funded<br />

the majority of the acquisition of what is now<br />

called the MapleCross Tract.<br />

Since then, MapleCross has been the lead<br />

donor in the purchase of four more properties,<br />

totalling 1,463 hectares (3,614 acres), under<br />

the Landmark Campaign banner. Two of<br />

those are in Ontario, the others are in Quebec<br />

and Saskatchewan.<br />

“We asked NCC to come up with the proposals,”<br />

says Oudenes. “In essence, we asked<br />

them what their priority was in terms of their<br />

science.” Adds Ralston: “We want to invest in<br />

land conservation, not just in our backyard of<br />

Ontario, but across all of Canada. We just want<br />

to make an impact where we feel it is most<br />

needed. NCC provides that national scope.”<br />

“We want to invest in land conservation,<br />

not just in our backyard of Ontario, but<br />

across all of Canada. We just want to make<br />

an impact where we feel it is most needed.”<br />

Jan Oudenes, Landmark Campaign donor<br />

Every donation counts<br />

While not every donor to the Landmark<br />

Campaign had the same means, motivation or<br />

directed outcome, Knibb-McLuhan notes that<br />

all played a similar role, directly or indirectly,<br />

in helping NCC deliver on the campaign’s<br />

three main themes: Conserve, Connect and<br />

Inspire. “Every gift made a difference.”<br />

“Conserve was really all about the bread<br />

and butter of what we do every day, every<br />

week, every year,” Knibb-McLuhan says. “But<br />

the focus was on conserving more, doing it<br />

faster, doing it more efficiently and doing it<br />

better for the best conservation outcomes<br />

possible. And we certainly did that.”<br />

Along with individual donors, other contributors<br />

to the Landmark Campaign included<br />

the federal government, provinces, corporations,<br />

family foundations, community groups<br />

and an array of other organizations.<br />

Most of the federal money was provided<br />

through the Natural Areas Conservation Program<br />

or its successor, the Natural Heritage<br />

Conservation Program. To activate those<br />

funds, NCC is required to raise matching<br />

contributions (1.5:1) from other donors.<br />

“That’s part of what makes NCC’s role and<br />

abilities so unusual,” says Knibb-McLuhan.<br />

“We have the ability to bring together unique<br />

partners, whether it’s individuals and<br />

governments, or corporations and Indigenous<br />

communities, to make this important conservation<br />

work happen.”<br />

Two widely different, but complementary,<br />

examples illustrate Knibb-McLuhan’s point.<br />

The first, from the Landmark Campaign’s<br />

early days, centres on a magnificent<br />

12,357-hectare (30,535-acre) property owned<br />

and managed by the Waldron Grazing<br />

Co-operative Ltd. – made up of more than<br />

50 ranchers in the southern foothills region of<br />

Alberta. In 2013, NCC collaborated with the<br />

Waldron owners in crafting a conservation<br />

agreement (a legal agreement that puts restrictions<br />

on its use) to ensure the Waldron, its<br />

grasslands, streams and forests, would always<br />

Continued, page 12<br />


8 WINTER <strong>2021</strong> natureconservancy.ca

As a child, I loved nature so much, it was almost overwhelming. Every<br />

time we eat or buy something new, we take something from nature, and we<br />

need to rebalance that and help the planet recover. We just need to recognize<br />

that we need to give back. Donating to charities is vital, [and] we need to also<br />

make conscious decisions that help the environment.<br />

Allison<br />

Tait<br />

NCC monthly donor<br />

(Ontario)<br />



natureconservancy.ca<br />

WINTER <strong>2021</strong> 9

Tallurutiup Imanga<br />

Waldron<br />

Fort Ellice<br />


1<br />

2<br />

Buffalo Pound<br />

Big Trout Bay<br />

Coast to coast to coast<br />

The Landmark Campaign accelerated conservation across Canada. Together, we mobilized<br />

to deliver a historic and lasting impact for nature and conserved 115,000 square kilometres,<br />

with 540 new conservation projects completed across Canada.<br />

10 WINTER <strong>2021</strong><br />



Clockwise from top: Kenauk, Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve,<br />

Darkwoods Conservation Area<br />

Freshwater Bay<br />

Cape Breton<br />

3<br />


Take a virtual tour through three of the 540 places you’ve protected through the<br />

Landmark Campaign. Visit nccnaturescapes.ca today. Hiking boots optional.<br />

1. 1 Darkwoods<br />

Conservation Area<br />

HOME TO<br />

Grizzly bears, wolverines and elk<br />


Mountain peaks and valleys<br />

Trek through the backcountry of<br />

the South Selkirk Mountains. See<br />

alpine lakes and ancient forests.<br />

Discover how humans have<br />

impacted the land, and how the<br />

Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

is restoring the landscape.<br />

2. 2 Kenauk<br />

HOME TO<br />

Wolves, moose and cinnamon<br />

black bears<br />


Forest, wetlands and lakes<br />

Fly over the beautiful forest and<br />

lakes of Kenauk. Find out why<br />

researchers are carefully uncovering<br />

the secrets of the lands and<br />

waters, and what they’ve<br />

discovered so far.<br />

3. 3 Musquash Estuary<br />

Nature Reserve<br />

HOME TO<br />

Harbour seals, moose and loons<br />


Coastline, marshes and much more<br />

Hike and kayak through the<br />

Musquash reserve. Learn how<br />

the community gets involved<br />

with protecting this diverse<br />

landscape — one of the last fully<br />

functioning estuaries on the Bay<br />

of Fundy.<br />

natureconservancy.ca WINTER <strong>2021</strong> 11

Top: Buffalo Pound Lake, SK.<br />

Bottom: Students from the Upper Grand<br />

District School Board leadership program.<br />

Continued from page 8<br />

remain intact. The agreement permits ongoing<br />

grazing by co-op shareholders but no other<br />

change of use. In 2015, the Waldron co-op<br />

bought an adjacent 1,700-hectare (4,200-acre)<br />

property, and an additional similar conservation<br />

agreement was established there in 2016.<br />

The conserved property is the largest<br />

block of private land on the eastern slopes<br />

of the Rockies. Its securement assures the<br />

continuation of essential services like water<br />

filtration, carbon sequestration, soil protection,<br />

and forage for both domestic and wild<br />

animals. Other financial supporters, along<br />

with the Waldron Grazing Co-op, included<br />

the Alberta government, several local foundations,<br />

one Alberta-based corporation and<br />

a few local individuals.<br />

The second example is equally innovative,<br />

and from a younger generation of nature<br />

lovers in Ontario. In late 2019 and early 2020,<br />

49 Guelph-area Grade 12 students enrolled<br />

in the Upper Grand District School Board’s<br />

“Beyond Borders” business leadership<br />

program staged an annual charity gala,<br />

raising $109,000 to be distributed to four<br />

charities. They donated $25,000 to NCC’s<br />

Landmark Campaign.<br />

The three other charities were linked<br />

to hospitals and health care, but according<br />

to Mike Parsons, the program’s founder<br />

and director, the students “felt strongly<br />

about supporting a charity that would align<br />

with the environment,” after studying<br />

sustainability and corporate responsibility<br />

in their program.<br />

“A couple of students found NCC and<br />

pitched it to the class as a great initiative<br />

that they’d like to support, and the class was<br />

immediately on board,” says Parsons.<br />

Once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed,<br />

he says he hopes students in subsequent<br />

years will continue to support NCC and get<br />

more involved in its work, perhaps by taking<br />

property tours or bringing in guest speakers.<br />

Connecting to nature<br />

According to Knibb-McLuhan, that same<br />

sentiment was at the heart of the Landmark<br />

Campaign’s second theme: Connect.<br />

“Connect was all about connecting<br />

Canadians to nature, because when they<br />

connect to it and understand it, they appreciate<br />

it, and then they will factor it into their<br />

decision-making,” she says. “Certainly, the<br />

next generation of Canadians that we’re raising,<br />

who are going to be future leaders and<br />

future decision makers, we want them to be<br />

thinking about nature.”<br />

To that end, during the Landmark Campaign,<br />

NCC continued to grow its hands-on<br />

volunteer program, in which volunteers spend<br />

time on NCC properties with the conservancy’s<br />

scientists, doing wildlife counts, property<br />

maintenance, habitat improvements and other<br />

activities. NCC also expanded its speaker<br />

series and, more recently, its online webinar<br />

programs. In all, Knibb-McLuhan says, more<br />

than 300,000 Canadians — including 18,000<br />

hands-on volunteers — connected to nature<br />

through NCC’s various channels in the eight<br />

years of the campaign.<br />

A connection with nature was one of the<br />

primary factors that motivated Jane Inch,<br />

who lives in Ottawa, to donate to NCC during<br />

the Landmark Campaign.<br />

“Nature has always been really important<br />

for me,” says Inch. “It’s a place of solace as well<br />

as adventure and fun. I feel like I’ve gotten a<br />

lot from nature in my life, and yet I realize that<br />

there are threats to it. So, I’m grateful, at this<br />

stage, to be able to give back and support the<br />

nature that’s given me so much.”<br />

Interestingly, even though she lives in<br />

Ontario, when Inch made the decision to<br />

make a donation to NCC, she contacted<br />

regional staff in Saskatchewan.<br />

“I’d heard about the decreasing number of<br />

greater sage-grouse in the grasslands of southern<br />

Saskatchewan, and that drew my attention.<br />

I also thought I’d like to focus on an area that<br />

might be overlooked by other Canadians. A lot<br />

of people see things about polar bears in the<br />

Arctic and we hear about whales on the<br />


12 WINTER <strong>2021</strong> natureconservancy.ca

What I admire most about NCC is the efficient, non-confrontational way that they<br />

are able to protect significant lands and waters, from tiny environmental hot spots to<br />

huge areas that can provide significant biodiversity. I have been clearing and mowing<br />

the trails at Coyote Lake [Alberta] for around 20 years. What was so easy 10 years ago is<br />

getting to be hard work, but if you can do it, you should keep doing it. Unless someone<br />

kicks me out, I will continue mowing trails there for a few years to come!<br />

Oscar<br />

Zawalsy<br />

Conservation Volunteer (Alberta)<br />



natureconservancy.ca<br />

WINTER <strong>2021</strong> 13

Top: Jan Oudenes and Isobel Ralston. Middle: Jane Inch.<br />

Bottom: Cockburn Island, ON.<br />

“The dollars that<br />

flow into the<br />

protection of<br />

nature are still<br />

quite limited. We<br />

want to inspire<br />

other people,<br />

and to make<br />

sure the movement<br />

becomes<br />

much larger.”<br />

Jan Oudenes,<br />

Landmark Campaign donor<br />

coasts. The sage-grouse doesn’t get the<br />

press that those other, bigger animals do.”<br />

Several years after making that donation,<br />

Inch travelled to Saskatchewan to see the<br />

property she supported first-hand and learn<br />

more about the region. “NCC had programs<br />

locally. I was just going a very long distance<br />

to partake in one,” she says.<br />

What she experienced, somewhat unexpectedly,<br />

was “feeling like I was joining<br />

in on a community of like-minded people,”<br />

she says. “Also, for me what was interesting<br />

was seeing the communities near these<br />

grassland ecosystems. I had never before<br />

been in a ranching community, or had discussions<br />

with Indigenous people from that region.<br />

There was so much more to the whole<br />

ecosystem than just the species. There were<br />

a lot of expanded horizons for me.”<br />

Inspiring conservation<br />

Inch’s account is also a testimonial to the<br />

Landmark Campaign’s third theme: Inspire.<br />

The theme applies to inspiring donors, the<br />

next generation of conservation leaders as<br />

well as the conservation sector as a whole,<br />

says Knibb-McLuhan.<br />

To address the next generation during the<br />

Landmark Campaign, NCC expanded its intern<br />

program from 30 placements a year to<br />

more than 90. “Some of them stay on, grow<br />

up within NCC and have great careers. Others<br />

go on to other organizations. It’s feeding the<br />

sector,” Knibb-McLuhan explains.<br />

NCC donors further supported the sector<br />

through the campaign by assisting other<br />

Canadian land trusts with financial and staff<br />

resources, tools, knowledge and technology.<br />

The goal of inspiring others isn’t limited<br />

to NCC itself, however. Isobel Ralston and<br />

Jan Oudenes say one of their aims as major<br />

donors is to inspire other Canadians, through<br />

their example, to support conservation. “The<br />

dollars that flow into the protection of nature<br />

are still quite limited,” says Oudenes. “Part<br />

of what we want to do is to make it known, to<br />

inspire other people, and to make sure that<br />

the movement becomes much larger.”<br />

These aims underline one other important,<br />

final point. Despite the successful efforts<br />

of its donors and supporters to complete the<br />

Landmark Campaign, and the resulting tremendous<br />

achievements, the work is not done.<br />

“We’ve made such great strides, but it’s<br />

going to take a lot more to get where we need<br />

to be — as a country and in the world,” says<br />

Knibb-McLuhan. “For example, Canada now<br />

has a commitment to conserve 30 per cent of<br />

our lands and waters by 2030. So, one of NCC’s<br />

long-term goals is supporting Canadian leadership<br />

in meeting our commitments around that.”<br />

The reality, too, is that major habitat types<br />

are still in decline, and the dual threats that<br />

Ralston and Oudenes highlighted — climate<br />

change and biodiversity loss — still need<br />

more urgent attention.<br />

And so, even as NCC marks the end of one<br />

campaign, work is underway on the organization’s<br />

next strategic plan. Knibb-McLuhan<br />

says that she and other members of the organization<br />

draw their own inspiration from<br />

the commitment they’ve seen from so many<br />

Canadians in supporting the Landmark<br />

Campaign over the past eight years.<br />

“I think that awareness levels and the feeling<br />

of urgency are greater now than they ever<br />

have been before. The climate change conversation<br />

is so much more important to Canadians<br />

than ever before. We all realize that what we<br />

do here has a larger impact on humankind.<br />

All of those issues will be really big factors in<br />

NCC’s thinking going forward.”1<br />


14 WINTER <strong>2021</strong> natureconservancy.ca

Our Foundation was pleased to fund<br />

projects in ecologically valuable and threatened<br />

areas across the country during NCC’s<br />

Landmark Campaign, as well as being a<br />

champion of NCC for nearly 25 years. NCC’s<br />

science-based approach to land conservation<br />

fits well with our strategy to significantly<br />

restore and protect biodiversity on Canada’s<br />

landscapes for the well-being of Canadians.<br />

Tamara Rebanks, Chair<br />

Weston Family<br />

Foundation<br />



natureconservancy.ca<br />

WINTER <strong>2021</strong> 15

Nuttall’s cottontail<br />

Conservation<br />

in action<br />

As you’ve read in the previous pages,<br />

you have helped secure 540 projects,<br />

conserving an additional 115,000<br />

square kilometres of protected areas.<br />

Through the Landmark Campaign,<br />

you have protected habitat for more<br />

than 130 species at risk. Ten of these<br />

species are more threatened than<br />

the giant panda, based on their<br />

global status.<br />


16 WINTER <strong>2021</strong> natureconservancy.ca


Sprague’s<br />

pipit<br />

Conservation status:<br />

Threatened<br />

NCC natural areas where<br />

this species is found:<br />

Asquith Complex, SK<br />

Sprague’s pipit breeds<br />

from southern and central<br />

Alberta, to southwestern<br />

Manitoba and south to<br />

southern Montana,<br />

northern South Dakota<br />

and northwestern<br />

Minnesota. It spends<br />

winters in the southwestern<br />

United States and<br />

northern Mexico. The<br />

species is considered<br />

a native grassland<br />

specialist and prefers to<br />

nest in intact prairies with<br />

moderate levels of grazing.<br />

Like many grassland birds,<br />

its numbers have been<br />

rapidly declining.<br />

Nuttall’s<br />

cottontail<br />

Conservation status:<br />

Special concern<br />

NCC natural areas where<br />

this species is found:<br />

South Okanagan-<br />

Similkameen, BC<br />

The Canadian range of<br />

Nuttall’s cottontail (nuttallii<br />

subspecies) is restricted to<br />

the Okanagan Valley of<br />

southcentral BC. Also known<br />

as the mountain cottontail,<br />

it is Canada’s smallest<br />

member of the rabbit and<br />

hare family, weighing just<br />

over 450 grams. It lives in<br />

open grassland, sagebrush<br />

and ponderosa pine<br />

ecosystems. There are only<br />

a few thousand left in BC,<br />

and they are primarily<br />

threatened by habitat loss.<br />

Its cousin, the grangeri<br />

subspecies, is more<br />

widespread and can be<br />

found in Alberta and<br />

Saskatchewan.<br />

NCC has protected habitat<br />

for Nuttall’s cottontail on the<br />

Sage and Sparrow Conservation<br />

Area. This property also<br />

protects habitat for over 60<br />

other species at risk.<br />

Maritime<br />

ringlet*<br />

Conservation status:<br />

Endangered<br />

NCC natural areas where<br />

this species is found:<br />

Barachois de la rivière<br />

Nouvelle, QC<br />

Maritime ringlet is one of<br />

the most endangered<br />

butterflies in Canada. The<br />

global range of this small<br />

butterfly is restricted to 10<br />

scattered locations along<br />

coastal salt marshes in<br />

northern New Brunswick<br />

and the southern coast of<br />

the Gaspé Peninsula in<br />

Quebec, around the Baie<br />

des Chaleurs. This species’<br />

survival relies on salt marsh<br />

habitat with suitable<br />

plants. Threats include<br />

rising sea levels and<br />

increasing frequency of<br />

storm surges as a result of<br />

climate change.<br />

*This species can be found only in Canada and nowhere else in the world. Visit leaveyourlandmark.ca for more information.<br />



Thank you to all of our 18,000 Conservation<br />

Volunteers who rolled up their sleeves, directly<br />

caring for nature throughout the Landmark<br />

Campaign. NCC’s Conservation Volunteers program<br />

engages people of all ages in the protection of our<br />

country’s species and natural habitats, coast to<br />

coast. Thank you to each and every volunteer who<br />

joined us in the field to contribute to conservation!<br />

Throughout the Landmark Campaign,<br />

Conservation Volunteers:<br />

Contributed over 37,000 hours<br />

of their time.<br />

That’s equivalent to more than<br />

1,500 full days of work!<br />

Participated in 1,565 Conservation<br />

Volunteers events.<br />

Completed essential tasks on properties<br />

across Canada, such as restoring habitat,<br />

stewarding the land and monitoring species.<br />

Want to know how you can connect with nature?<br />

Visit conservationvolunteers.ca.<br />



The completion of NCC’s successful Landmark Campaign was made possible by<br />

generous contributions from so many individuals and organizations, including<br />

governments across the country. The Government of Canada is the largest single<br />

contributor to the campaign.<br />

Through the Natural Areas Conservation Program and Natural Heritage Conservation<br />

Program (NHCP), the federal government contributed $160 million to the campaign.<br />

These funds were matched by generous donors to create lasting conservation success.<br />

The current iteration of the partnership, the NHCP, is administered by the Nature<br />

Conservancy of Canada and made possible by a $100-million investment from the<br />

Government of Canada, as part of the Nature Legacy initiative announced in Budget<br />

2018. Thanks to the NHCP, NCC will be able to help protect the lands and waters<br />

that sustain our local communities. These conservation projects will also support<br />

Canada’s commitment to protect 30 per cent of our lands and waters by 2030.

The work<br />

has just begun<br />

We sat down with past president and CEO, John Lounds, and our<br />

new president and CEO, Catherine Grenier, for their thoughts<br />

on the accomplishments of the Landmark Campaign and what’s<br />

next. Both agree the work is just beginning.<br />

Top: Catherine Grenier & John Lounds.<br />

Inset: Green Mountains, QC.<br />

NCC: John, the Landmark Campaign was<br />

one of the boldest initiatives in NCC’s history.<br />

What gave you the confidence that we’d<br />

get it done?<br />

JL: Our supporters! Back when we launched<br />

the campaign, conservation sometimes didn’t<br />

feel bold enough to address the challenges<br />

of a rapidly changing world. But our supporters,<br />

donors and partners challenged us to<br />

think bigger.<br />

The Waldron Ranch, for example, where<br />

we worked with more than 50 ranchers to put<br />

a conservation agreement on 12,357 hectares<br />

(30,535 acres) of habitat along Alberta’s Highway<br />

22, challenged our notions of what we<br />

could do and how far we could go. This campaign<br />

was built on the idea that if we could do<br />

one project of that scale, we could get 540 done<br />

in a way to advance conservation and engage<br />

Canadians to inspire the next generation.<br />

NCC: What was the biggest surprise for you?<br />

JL: I wasn’t so much surprised as I was gratified<br />

that so many people joined our efforts.<br />

We saw that Canadians care about nature.<br />

Together, we mobilized to deliver a historic<br />

and lasting impact.<br />

Thousands of Canadians, from coast to<br />

coast to coast, took conservation into their<br />

own hands and gave to save the lands and<br />

waters that sustain us all.<br />


18 WINTER <strong>2021</strong> natureconservancy.ca


NCC: What was your proudest accomplishment<br />

throughout the campaign?<br />

JL: The scale of the projects is impressive,<br />

but what was really amazing was how the<br />

Landmark Campaign opened up opportunities<br />

in local communities.<br />

Do you know that more than 90 per cent<br />

of Canadians live within 100 kilometres of<br />

a Landmark Campaign project?<br />

The Landmark Campaign opened up opportunities<br />

across Canada, to work with partners,<br />

Indigenous communities, governments at all<br />

levels, landowners, Conservation Volunteers in<br />

their local communities and more.<br />

NCC’s role is to help facilitate the success<br />

in terms of achieving those goals. We’re there<br />

to bring together the resources, the thinking,<br />

the people and the capabilities. That’s what<br />

we are all about: moving things forward and<br />

getting it done.<br />

NCC: Catherine, where do we go from here<br />

to engage more people?<br />

CG: We will build on NCC’s tremendous success,<br />

thanks to our donors and supporters.<br />

One of the first things we will be doing next<br />

is raising awareness about the great work<br />

and the impact of our donors in recent years.<br />

The campaign has strengthened our collective<br />

commitment to nature. Now, we will build<br />

on that momentum. We need to provide<br />

meaningful opportunities for Canadians of all<br />

backgrounds to come together and work with<br />

us in a very tangible way.<br />

NCC: You’ve joined NCC just as we’re celebrating<br />

this tremendous success. What does<br />

conservation look like moving forward?<br />

CG: I think the stars have never been more<br />

aligned for conservation in Canada, and the<br />

need has never been greater.<br />

All major habitat types are still in decline.<br />

The dual threats of climate change and biodiversity<br />

loss urgently need our attention. We<br />

need to act now to make sure the lands, waters<br />

and natural beauty we cherish today will<br />

be here for generations to come.<br />

NCC is uniquely positioned to make meaningful<br />

change. We’ve been recognized as one<br />

of the most trusted conservation organizations<br />

in Canada. But despite our success, we<br />

need to accelerate the scale and scope of conservation.<br />

If we want to do it faster, we have<br />

to do it differently. That will take innovation<br />

and collaboration. And that’s what we will<br />

focus on in the next few years.<br />

Together, we are changing Canada and the<br />

world. When conservation becomes a way<br />

of life, it benefits all life. Conservation today<br />

is much more cost effective than trying to<br />

restore natural areas in the future.1<br />

Thank you to our<br />

Nature Legacy<br />

Society members<br />

Your legacy gift and passion for nature helped us reach our<br />

Landmark Campaign goals<br />

The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s<br />

(NCC’s) Landmark Campaign has<br />

been our most ambitious fundraising<br />

campaign to date.<br />

We want to acknowledge the generous<br />

contribution of more than 1,000 Nature<br />

Legacy Society (NLS) donors, totalling<br />

$82 million in pledges to the campaign.<br />

The Nature Legacy Society is a distinct<br />

group of NCC supporters. They have<br />

invested in Canada’s natural heritage<br />

through a gift in their Will, a gift of life<br />

insurance or a gift of a registered retirement<br />

fund.<br />

We are immensely grateful for our<br />

Nature Legacy Society members who have<br />

informed us of their planned gift and their<br />

desire to protect Canada’s lands, waters<br />

and wildlife.<br />

Their passion and their investment in<br />

the future of conservation will ensure<br />

the protection of Canada’s most valuable<br />

natural areas for decades to come.<br />

Thanks to your support, NCC has the<br />

means and confidence to achieve major<br />

conservation results far into the future.<br />



A legacy is more than a gift. It is an expression<br />

of the values that are most<br />

important to you. Values like having compassion<br />

for all life on Earth, and the belief<br />

that future generations deserve to inherit<br />

a rich, diverse, beautiful natural world.<br />

We hope that you will be inspired by<br />

the passion and commitment of the<br />

Nature Legacy Society donors.<br />

These natural habitats across the country<br />

are our legacy — the landmarks<br />

we will leave for Canada and the world.<br />

A pledge in your estate plans today will<br />

ensure the survival of Canada’s natural<br />

areas, long after we’re gone.1<br />

“I’ve had a lot of time to think<br />

about my most cherished values<br />

and consider the charities that<br />

most closely reflect them. So,<br />

when it came time to prepare<br />

my Will, I had long since decided<br />

to include NCC as a beneficiary.<br />

It means a lot to me to be able<br />

to do so.”<br />

–KEN BUTLAND (seen above)<br />


“I feel deeply about the problem<br />

of habitat and area loss and<br />

how this affects species richness,<br />

abundance and resilience.<br />

NCC is by far one of the most<br />

committed organizations that<br />

reflect my principles.”<br />



“NCC inspires us, as we want our<br />

beautiful lands protected for<br />

our wildlife and all other fauna<br />

and flora for all generations<br />

to come.”<br />



natureconservancy.ca<br />

WINTER <strong>2021</strong> 19

LET YOUR<br />


DEFINE<br />

YOUR<br />

LEGACY<br />

Your passion for Canada’s natural spaces defines your life; now it can define<br />

your legacy. With a gift in your Will to the Nature Conservancy of Canada,<br />

no matter the size, you can help protect our most vulnerable habitats and the<br />

wildlife that live there. For today, for tomorrow and for generations to come.<br />

Order your free Legacy Information Booklet today.<br />

Call Manita Marcella at at 1-877-231-3552 x x 2275 2276 or or visit DefineYourLegacy.ca

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