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Fall 2022 NCC Magazine

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FALL <strong>2022</strong><br />

60 TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE<br />

Toward<br />

a thriving<br />

world<br />

Building on our 60 years of excellence<br />

to accelerate the pace of conservation


FALL <strong>2022</strong><br />

CONTENTS<br />

Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

4 Measuring your impact<br />

A sample of what you’ve made possible.<br />

6 Toward a thriving world<br />

Celebrating 60 years of conservation, and looking<br />

ahead to the next six decades.<br />

10 Across the country<br />

Conservation from coast to coast to coast.<br />

12 Conservation partnerships<br />

Some of <strong>NCC</strong>’s most successful projects have<br />

been made thanks to government partnerships.<br />

16 Walking together on the land<br />

Lessons learned and perspectives gained<br />

from Indigenous communities in becoming<br />

better caretakers of the land.<br />

18 Your natural legacy<br />

The generosity of Canadians is building<br />

a thriving world.<br />

Digital extras<br />

Check out our online magazine page with<br />

additional content to supplement this issue,<br />

at nccmagazine.ca.<br />

Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

245 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 410 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 3J1<br />

magazine@natureconservancy.ca | Phone: 416.932.3202 | Toll-free: 877.231.3552<br />

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (<strong>NCC</strong>) is the country’s unifying force for nature. We seek<br />

solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale,<br />

permanent land conservation. <strong>NCC</strong> is a registered charity. With nature, we build a thriving world.<br />

The Nature Conservancy of Canada <strong>Magazine</strong> is distributed to donors and supporters of <strong>NCC</strong>.<br />

TM<br />

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

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

saving resources by choosing this paper.<br />

Printed on Enviro100 paper, which contains 100% post-consumer fibre, is EcoLogo, Processed Chlorine Free<br />

certified and manufactured in Canada by Rolland using biogas energy. Printed in Canada with vegetable-based<br />

inks by Warrens Waterless Printing. This publication saved 163 trees and 54,252 litres of water*.<br />

TKTKTKTKTKTKT<br />

GENERATED BY: CALCULATEUR.ROLLANDINC.COM. PHOTO: DANE ROY. COVER: STOCKSY.<br />

*<br />

2 FALL <strong>2022</strong> natureconservancy.ca


Thor Sveinbjornson,<br />

conservation superhero<br />

Dear Nature<br />

Conservancy<br />

of Canada,<br />

TKTKTKTKTKTKT<br />

FERNANDO LESSA. HAWLII PICHETTE.<br />

My favourite place to be in nature is<br />

on the shoreline of a lake, like at<br />

our cabin at Last Mountain Lake in<br />

Saskatchewan. It is a really awesome place to<br />

play and spend time in, and also an important<br />

place for many different plants and animals.<br />

Birds are one of my favourites. At the<br />

lake, we see yellow warblers, pelicans, purple<br />

martins, waxwings, orioles, gray catbirds and<br />

hummingbirds. Every now and then I see a<br />

common loon. I like identifying them by their<br />

calls — western kingbirds have a very quick<br />

and cheerful song. Chickadees and yellow<br />

warblers sound an awful lot alike and can be<br />

tricky! But when I don’t know what species<br />

it is, I enjoy using a book or bird ID app to<br />

figure it out.<br />

It is important to protect nature because<br />

it is what keeps people alive! If there wasn’t<br />

nature, our own species would go extinct.<br />

In Saskatchewan, grasslands are one of the<br />

most important biomes* that we need to<br />

protect. I am really happy that the Nature<br />

Conservancy of Canada has been protecting<br />

nature for 60 years. Sixty years from now,<br />

I will be 69 years old, and when I am that<br />

old, I hope our planet looks the same but<br />

even healthier!<br />

Spending time in nature makes me feel<br />

peaceful. When I see the wonders of nature<br />

it makes me happy and want to protect it.<br />

So, if you want to help someone understand<br />

that protecting nature is important, you just<br />

need to let them see the wonders of it, too!<br />

Thor Sveinbjornson, age 9<br />

Spring Bay, Last Mountain Lake,<br />

Saskatchewan<br />

*Thor’s aunt, who transcribed this letter<br />

for him, assures us he really does know<br />

the word “biome” and came up with it on<br />

his own in their conversation!<br />

Featured<br />

Contributors<br />

Fernando Lessa is<br />

a professional nature-image<br />

maker based<br />

in North Vancouver, BC,<br />

best known for his<br />

conservation and<br />

ecology documentation<br />

of marine and freshwater<br />

ecosystems.<br />

He photographed<br />

various <strong>NCC</strong> staff<br />

portraits throughout<br />

the magazine.<br />

Hawlii Pichette is a<br />

Mushkego Cree (Treaty<br />

9) urban mixed-blood<br />

artist and illustrator. Her<br />

work is deeply influenced<br />

by her culture<br />

and upbringing, and<br />

reflects the beautiful<br />

integral interconnections<br />

of the natural<br />

world. She illustrated<br />

“Walking together on<br />

the land,” page 16.<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 3


Measuring<br />

your<br />

impact<br />

Looking back at what we’ve accomplished<br />

with your support, and casting ahead to<br />

bigger and bolder goals in the next 60 years<br />

Since the first Nature Conservancy of Canada (<strong>NCC</strong>)<br />

project at Cavan Swamp and Bog, Ontario, almost<br />

60 years ago, you’ve helped us come a long way in<br />

ensuring the future of precious landscapes across the country.<br />

Thousands of Canadians and various funding partners from<br />

coast to coast to coast pitched in to support the conservation<br />

of the lands and waters that sustain us all. Working together<br />

with communities and partners, we look forward to the next<br />

60 years as we achieve bigger and bolder goals, at a faster<br />

pace, in restoring and conserving the natural environment<br />

that we collectively value. Because when nature thrives,<br />

we all thrive.<br />

Here’s a sample of what you’ve helped us accomplish to date:<br />

LAKES<br />

490K<br />

hectares<br />

Canada is a land of an estimated<br />

two million lakes. Your support has<br />

ensured the protection of nearly<br />

490,000 hectares of lake area.<br />

RIVERS<br />

61K<br />

kilometres<br />

Rivers are important ecosystems that<br />

drain the landscape and support<br />

many different aquatic and terrestrial<br />

species along the course of their<br />

length. <strong>NCC</strong> has ongoing restoration<br />

activities across the country to<br />

improve the integrity of riparian<br />

habitats — the transition zone<br />

between river and dry land. Your<br />

support has protected more than<br />

61,000 kilometres of rivers.<br />

FORESTS<br />

1.2M hectares<br />

<strong>NCC</strong> works in a variety of different forest<br />

ecosystems across Canada, conserving<br />

nearly 1.2 million hectares of forest to date,<br />

thanks to your help. That’s more than twice<br />

the size of Prince Edward Island.<br />

BRIANNA ROYE. COSTAL PRODUCTIONS.<br />

4 FALL <strong>2022</strong><br />

natureconservancy.ca


DARK SKY PRESERVES<br />

13 projects<br />

Dark Sky Preserves are natural areas where the<br />

dark night sky is protected by eliminating light<br />

pollution. Many species are negatively affected by<br />

light pollution and require darkness for the healthy<br />

functioning of their behavioural and physiological<br />

cycles. Your support has helped <strong>NCC</strong> conserve<br />

13 projects in Dark Sky Preserves across the country.<br />

UNESCO BIOSPHERE<br />

RESERVES<br />

498 projects<br />

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are comprised of<br />

natural ecosystems and working landscapes,<br />

where communities work collaboratively to<br />

balance development with the conservation<br />

of natural resources. These reserves recognize<br />

that community engagement at many levels<br />

is needed for conservation success. Thanks to<br />

your support, 498 projects are protected within<br />

these reserves.<br />

ETHAN MELEG. KYLE MARQUARDT.<br />

WETLANDS<br />

5.4 trillion<br />

litres<br />

Wetlands play a critical role in<br />

absorbing and storing carbon.<br />

They also remove sediments,<br />

excess nutrients and even bacteria<br />

from our drinking water. Like<br />

a giant sponge, wetlands absorb<br />

and hold water to buffer our cities<br />

and farms from floods and<br />

droughts. Your support has<br />

conserved 390,000 hectares of<br />

wetlands across Canada.<br />

Together, these wetlands can<br />

filter up to an estimated 5.4 trillion<br />

litres of water, close to 2.1 million<br />

Olympic-sized swimming pools.<br />

RAMSAR SITES<br />

97 projects<br />

Designated by the Ramsar<br />

Convention on Wetlands, Ramsar<br />

sites are wetlands of international<br />

importance. Your support has<br />

helped <strong>NCC</strong> conserve 97 projects<br />

within Ramsar sites.<br />

KEY BIODIVERSITY AREAS<br />

326 projects<br />

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are areas of exceptional<br />

importance for wildlife and biodiversity.<br />

They are identified in all habitats in terrestrial,<br />

freshwater and marine ecosystems. With your<br />

support, 326 projects are conserved in or within<br />

close proximity to a KBA.<br />

GRASSLANDS<br />

113K hectares<br />

Native grasslands are the unsung heroes of carbon<br />

storage through their extensive root systems.<br />

They are also among the world’s most endangered<br />

ecosystems. Your support has conserved 113,000<br />

hectares of native grasslands.<br />

CARBON SEQUESTRATION<br />

517K cars per year<br />

Every year, the habitats conserved by <strong>NCC</strong>, thanks to your support,<br />

store close to 2,300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (which<br />

includes other greenhouse gases converted to their equivalent global<br />

warming potential as carbon dioxide). That is equivalent to the annual<br />

CO 2 emissions of around 517,000 typical passenger vehicles.<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 5


The 1,340-hectare Cavan Swamp Wildlife Area<br />

near Peterborough, Ontario, was <strong>NCC</strong>’s first<br />

big conservation project, dating back to 1968.<br />

6 FALL <strong>2022</strong> natureconservancy.ca


Toward<br />

a thriving<br />

world<br />

MIKE FORD.<br />

As <strong>NCC</strong> turns 60,<br />

it looks ahead to<br />

doubling the impact<br />

it has had since 1962,<br />

using its expertise<br />

and relationships<br />

to dramatically<br />

accelerate the pace<br />

of conservation<br />

BY Alanna Mitchell<br />

Cattails sway in the gentle morning breeze.<br />

Three beavers frolic in the shallow water, shiny<br />

backs arching briefly in the sun. A green frog calls.<br />

And then, the urgent trill of the swamp sparrow:<br />

“chee-chee-chee-chee.”<br />

Always alert for the flick of a wing, Mark Stabb, central Ontario<br />

program director for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (<strong>NCC</strong>),<br />

pulls up his binoculars and peers into the trees. It’s another species:<br />

a cedar waxwing. This spot, the 1,340-hectare Cavan Swamp<br />

Wildlife Area near Peterborough, which <strong>NCC</strong> helped conserve, is<br />

a well-known refuge for birds. From the roadside, he also spots<br />

a rose-breasted grosbeak, grackles, mourning doves, goldfinches<br />

— and that’s only the beginning. We stand open-mouthed as two<br />

great blue herons — elegant and serene — take to the skies.<br />

“<strong>NCC</strong> helped put this together decades ago,” he says, cradling<br />

the binoculars as he drinks in the beauty of the place. “And now it’s<br />

all out there and doing what it’s intended to do.”<br />

The Cavan Swamp is more than just another vast protected area<br />

that <strong>NCC</strong> had a hand in creating. It was the launching pad for <strong>NCC</strong>’s<br />

work in Canada, the first big purchase. Today, as <strong>NCC</strong> turns 60,<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 7


Catherine Grenier; Pelee Island, ON, one of the properties secured thanks to the Ivey Foundation.<br />

We have the great maturity of knowing who<br />

we are and how we can use that expertise to<br />

help build a thriving world with nature.<br />

Catherine Grenier, president and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada<br />

Cavan Swamp is a symbol not only of how<br />

far the organization has come in those six<br />

decades, but also of the next challenges it<br />

is eager to tackle.<br />

“I think at 60, we have the great maturity<br />

of knowing who we are and how we can use<br />

that expertise to help unlock solutions for<br />

conservation,” says Catherine Grenier, <strong>NCC</strong>’s<br />

president and chief executive officer. “It’s<br />

such a critical time for nature. There’s never<br />

been a more important time in history. And<br />

<strong>NCC</strong> has built this unique skill set that it can<br />

now use to make a big difference.”<br />

The overall plan? To use <strong>NCC</strong>’s expertise<br />

and relationships to scale conservation up<br />

dramatically, doubling the impact the organization<br />

had in its first 60 years in just the<br />

next eight. And then, keep going.<br />

“Ultimately, our vision is to build a thriving<br />

world with nature,” Grenier says.<br />

Building on history<br />

<strong>NCC</strong>’s tool kit has grown along with the organization.<br />

In 1962, when <strong>NCC</strong> was founded<br />

on the private land trust model of other<br />

countries, Canada had few policies<br />

preventing the bulldozing of wetlands,<br />

a critical habitat for migrating birds. In<br />

those first years, the fledgling <strong>NCC</strong> raced<br />

to raise enough money to help buy the<br />

Rattray Marsh, a key wetland on the lakeshore<br />

between Toronto and Burlington<br />

that was up for development.<br />

But when the deal fell through, <strong>NCC</strong><br />

turned to an ambitious new tactic in its efforts<br />

to take direct private action, becoming<br />

a financing partner with conservation authorities,<br />

governments and other agencies to<br />

help buy these ecologically important lands<br />

through private funds. The Cavan Swamp,<br />

part of which <strong>NCC</strong> helped secure in 1968 (it<br />

is managed by the Otonabee Region Conservation<br />

Authority), was the test case.<br />

A History of the Nature Conservancy<br />

of Canada, by the late Dr. Bill Freedman,<br />

includes a reflection by Charles Sauriol, one<br />

of <strong>NCC</strong>’s first staff, on <strong>NCC</strong>’s growing role<br />

as a conservation partner:<br />

“This is why the Conservancy had<br />

been born. Its role was that of a catalyst,<br />

a facilitator; being a purveyor of funds<br />

and matching grants was its raison d’être”<br />

(Freedman, 48-49).<br />

Today, <strong>NCC</strong> is Canada’s largest not-forprofit<br />

land conservation organization, and<br />

it has helped save more than 15 million<br />

hectares, some of which it manages itself.<br />

By 1971, <strong>NCC</strong> had expanded its collaborative<br />

impulse even further, crafting a 10-year<br />

partnership with the Ontario Ministry of<br />

Natural Resources (as it was then called)<br />

and the Richard Ivey Foundation (now the<br />

Ivey Foundation) to conserve woodlands<br />

along the Niagara Escarpment. The project<br />

took off when the late Richard and Beryl<br />

Ivey, both passionate about the environment,<br />

introduced their neighbour to <strong>NCC</strong>. He<br />

happened to be John Robarts, the then<br />

premier of Ontario.<br />

The Iveys suggested a novel matching<br />

recipe for escarpment purchases: one dollar<br />

of private money for every two dollars from<br />

the province, with ownership of the properties<br />

transferred to local conservation<br />

...continued on page 12<br />

SAM BRINKER. INSET: GENEVIEVE LESIEUR.<br />

8 FALL <strong>2022</strong> natureconservancy.ca


<strong>NCC</strong> staff on the West<br />

Coast have the privilege of<br />

working to protect rare and<br />

highly specialized coast<br />

ecosystems, like the Garry<br />

oak habitats found on<br />

southern Vancouver Island,<br />

the Gulf Islands and the<br />

Lower Mainland.<br />

“In the sixties, I heard about an<br />

organization that apparently saved<br />

forests. Really?<br />

“I grew up in Northern Ontario,<br />

where we had a 113-hectare farm.<br />

Only 12 hectares of it was cleared;<br />

the rest was trees, swamp and bluffs.<br />

As a child, I thought of forests as<br />

something you had to cut down so<br />

you could grow crops and not starve<br />

to death. And it was a place to stay<br />

out of, because if you went in there,<br />

you would get lost and the bears<br />

would eat you.<br />

FERNANDO LESSA. INSET: COURTESY LORNA SCHUELER.<br />

“But like many other Canadians,<br />

by the seventies, I was becoming<br />

aware of how deeply humans are<br />

linked to the land and that its care<br />

and preservation is in our hands.<br />

I realized that <strong>NCC</strong> was committed<br />

to those concepts in a practical<br />

way. I am a supporter to this day and<br />

after I retired, it was my choice for<br />

volunteer work. During those years,<br />

I was able to see, first-hand, the<br />

dedication and respect for all aspects<br />

of nature that drive <strong>NCC</strong>.”<br />

— Lorna Schueler<br />

<strong>NCC</strong> donor since 1970 and volunteer<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 9


Boreal Wildlands, ON<br />

Nan Thok Natr’iniin’aii, YT<br />

Old Man on His Back, SK<br />

Darkwoods, BC<br />

Yellowknife<br />

Whitehorse<br />

Edmonton<br />

1<br />

Regina<br />

Winnipeg<br />

Victoria<br />

Building<br />

momentum<br />

Conservation from coast to coast to coast<br />

Waterton Park Front, A B<br />

Fort Ellice, MB<br />

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: SONNY PARKER; GORDON MACPHERSON;<br />

BRANIMIR GJETVAJ; ANDREW WARREN; THOMAS FRICKE; BRENT CALVER.<br />

10 FALL <strong>2022</strong> natureconservancy.ca


Tallurutiup Imanga, NT<br />

CONSERVING MORE, FASTER!<br />

In just the last two years, you have helped double the impact<br />

of conservation, ensuring the conservation of an astounding<br />

1 million additional hectares from coast to coast to coast.<br />

Here are two properties that helped accelerate the pace:<br />

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: CHRIS DEBICKI; ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; ROBERT MCCAW; ROBERT MCCAW;<br />

SEAN LANDSMAN; MIKE DEMBECK; SEAN LANDSMAN; KENAUK NATURE; JORDAN MYLES.<br />

Johnson’s Mills, NB<br />

Iqaluit<br />

1. 1 Buffalo Pound, SK<br />

AREA CONSERVED<br />

866 hectares<br />

HOME TO<br />

American badger, Baird’s sparrow,<br />

bobolink, northern leopard frog,<br />

Sprague’s pipit<br />

LANDSCAPE<br />

Native grasslands, shoreline<br />

Located in the Upper Qu’Appelle<br />

Natural Area, Buffalo Pound contains<br />

native grasslands and seven kilometres<br />

of shoreline along the north shore of<br />

Buffalo Pound Lake. One of the most<br />

endangered ecosystems in the world,<br />

these grasslands help filter drinking<br />

water for approximately one-quarter<br />

of the province’s population.<br />

Northern leopard frog<br />

1. 2 Hastings Wildlife<br />

Junction, ON<br />

AREA CONSERVED<br />

5,000 hectares<br />

HOME TO<br />

Eastern wolf, black bear, moose, pine<br />

marten, successfully reintroduced elk,<br />

rare birds and turtles<br />

LANDSCAPE<br />

Forests, wetlands, rivers, creeks<br />

Located at the junctions of the Algonquin<br />

to Adirondacks and The Land<br />

Between corridors, the Hastings Wildlife<br />

Junction’s forests and wetlands provide<br />

essential ecosystem services to the region<br />

and beyond. These include carbon<br />

storage, removal of air pollution and<br />

flood water storage. The carbon capture<br />

and storage benefits of the property<br />

help reduce greenhouse gas levels in<br />

the atmosphere.<br />

Black bear cub<br />

Sprague’s pipit<br />

Grand Codroy, NL<br />

Toronto<br />

2<br />

Quebec<br />

Kenauk, QC<br />

Fredericton<br />

Abram-Village, PEI<br />

Charlottetown<br />

Halifax<br />

Gaff Point, NS<br />

St. John’s<br />

TRADITIONAL LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT<br />

At the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we acknowledge<br />

that the work we do across the country is<br />

on the traditional territories of many Indigenous<br />

Peoples. Canada is both the traditional and current<br />

homelands of many Indigenous Nations and<br />

communities. We make this acknowledgment with<br />

respect and gratitude for the histories, languages<br />

and cultures of Indigenous Peoples who are with us<br />

today, those who have come before us and for<br />

those who come after us, and with the commitment<br />

to work with and support Indigenous people in the<br />

spirit of Reconciliation on the land.<br />

To learn whose land you’re living on,<br />

visit native-land.ca.<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 11


Kenauk, Quebec.<br />

Hansen Ranch, Alberta.<br />

INSPIRING<br />

CONSERVATION WITH<br />

PARTNERSHIPS<br />

Among the Nature Conservancy of<br />

Canada’s (<strong>NCC</strong>’s) most devoted supporters<br />

are governments at all three levels<br />

— municipal, provincial and federal. In<br />

fact, <strong>NCC</strong>’s status as a trusted delivery<br />

partner has resulted in partnerships with<br />

governments from all 10 provinces, and<br />

of every political stripe. This support has<br />

inspired the conservation of some of the<br />

most unique and rich natural areas in<br />

<strong>NCC</strong>’s portfolio of lands and waters.<br />

In particular, Environment and Climate<br />

Change Canada has supported <strong>NCC</strong>’s<br />

work across the country for several<br />

decades. This support continues largely<br />

through the Natural Heritage Conservation<br />

Program (NHCP), a partnership<br />

model established in 2007, which has<br />

galvanized support from Canadians<br />

from coast to coast to coast. Each dollar<br />

invested by the Government of Canada<br />

is matched by generous contributions<br />

from other non-federal sources. Now<br />

a more than $1.3-billion partnership, the<br />

NHCP has resulted in the conservation<br />

of nearly 700,000 hectares — an area<br />

larger than PEI — which provides<br />

habitat for more than 200 species at risk.<br />

The NHCP was instrumental in establishing<br />

several of <strong>NCC</strong>’s signature projects,<br />

such as the Boreal Wildlands in Ontario,<br />

Shaw Wilderness Park in Nova Scotia,<br />

Kenauk in Quebec and Darkwoods in BC.<br />

These conservation milestones contribute<br />

directly to Canada’s goal of protecting<br />

30 per cent of our lands and fresh<br />

water by 2030. They would not have<br />

been possible without the NHCP.<br />

Visit natureconservancy.ca/nhcp for<br />

more information.<br />

I have always viewed every place we conserve<br />

as being a gift to future generations, to people<br />

I don’t know and will never meet.<br />

Larry Simpson, senior advisor of strategic philanthropy and conservation, <strong>NCC</strong> Alberta<br />

...continued from page 8<br />

authorities. The plan kick-started the saving<br />

of the escarpment, which is now part of<br />

a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and<br />

set a pattern for future projects.<br />

Jennifer Ivey Bannock, daughter of<br />

Richard and Beryl Ivey, continued the family<br />

passion for conservation through her work<br />

on <strong>NCC</strong>’s board.<br />

“My parents were passionate about the<br />

environment,” she says. “I spent many happy<br />

years on the board of <strong>NCC</strong>, and thanks to<br />

them, came to appreciate Canada’s wide variety<br />

of landscapes. With our natural world<br />

under so much pressure these days, <strong>NCC</strong>’s<br />

work to conserve Canada’s remaining natural<br />

treasures seems even more critical.”<br />

Other nimble new joint efforts followed<br />

the escarpment project. Larry Simpson,<br />

now senior advisor of strategic philanthropy<br />

and conservation for <strong>NCC</strong> in Alberta, joined<br />

the organization in 1990, “the first employee<br />

west of Toronto,” he says, chuckling. It was<br />

the start of a decade-long expansion across<br />

the nation, which, in turn, set the stage for<br />

an outpouring of new possibilities identified<br />

through local connections.<br />

“What we’re trying to do is help people<br />

be part of a movement to create the kind of<br />

country that we want our kids to be able to<br />

thrive in,” Simpson says. “It’s a wonderfully<br />

powerful mission.”<br />

But Simpson quickly realized that Canada<br />

lacked the tax mechanisms to allow citizens<br />

and corporations to donate land at a fair<br />

value or to create conservation agreements<br />

restricting certain uses on the land in the<br />

future. With a small gift from Neil Harvie, the<br />

rancher who owned Alberta’s fabled Glenbow<br />

Ranch, Simpson visited directors of wildlife<br />

in several provinces to sound them out about<br />

new conservation-friendly tax rules.<br />

The result was Canada’s Ecological<br />

Gifts Program, begun in 1995; a muscular<br />

collaboration among dozens of partners<br />

across federal departments and other layers<br />

of government, plus non-governmental organizations.<br />

So far, more than 200,000 ecologically<br />

sensitive hectares valued at nearly<br />

$1 billion have become part of the program.<br />

And it’s growing: more landowners participate<br />

each year.<br />

Simpson often reflects on the inspiration<br />

<strong>NCC</strong> has drawn from its donors to help propel<br />

its work. “Donors like The Weston Family<br />

Foundation and John and Barbara Poole,<br />

whose donations in the late 90s first made<br />

our work in the Waterton Park Front in Alberta<br />

possible, helped <strong>NCC</strong> realize that there<br />

were some significant supporters who wanted<br />

us to take on bigger and more inspiring<br />

projects; and we did,” he notes.<br />

“I have always viewed every place we<br />

conserve as being a gift to future generations,<br />

to people I don’t know and will never<br />

meet. Every single time, it’s a warm glow.”<br />

As <strong>NCC</strong> evolves, so does the list of innovations,<br />

explains Kamal Rajani, <strong>NCC</strong>’s chief<br />

financial officer. <strong>NCC</strong> has made a practice of<br />

working with partners to buy development<br />

rights from resource companies on large<br />

tracts of land, saving important habitat from<br />

being significantly altered.<br />

KENAUK NATURE. BRENT CALVER.<br />

12 FALL <strong>2022</strong> natureconservancy.ca


The tactic alone has helped spur the<br />

creation of some of Canada’s most iconic protected<br />

areas, including Gwaii Haanas National<br />

Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in<br />

BC, Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan<br />

and Tallurutiup Imanga Marine Conservation<br />

Area in the Arctic.<br />

And there’s more to come. Plugging into<br />

the carbon-storing value of <strong>NCC</strong> properties<br />

will be a powerful source of funding for<br />

future projects. Rajani is excited to track<br />

how corporations, spurred by socially conscious<br />

investors to address their environmental,<br />

social and governance commitments,<br />

participate more fully in conservation efforts<br />

in coming years.<br />

“The beauty is that Canada has<br />

a vast amount of land to conserve, so the<br />

opportunity is there,” Rajani says. “And<br />

the world is thinking about climate change,<br />

so there are going to be significant<br />

investments.”<br />

Innovating for the future<br />

That bold thinking is not just on the financial<br />

side, says Lisa McLaughlin, <strong>NCC</strong>’s vicepresident<br />

of conservation policy and planning.<br />

“The innovation, whether that’s with the<br />

science or the planning or the stewardship<br />

work and the landowner relationships, has<br />

Introducing young children<br />

to nature is the first step in<br />

fostering future generations of<br />

conservation-minded citizens.<br />

“Living in Halifax, I am very much aware of the gradual loss of local natural<br />

spaces. We are losing not only access to nature but also the biodiversity<br />

and the ecosystem functions that they support. I congratulate (and<br />

support) <strong>NCC</strong> in its efforts to preserve and restore our wild spaces in<br />

eastern Canada and across this country for future generations.”<br />

— Dusan Soudek<br />

<strong>NCC</strong> donor since 1988<br />

FERNANDO LESSA. INSET: COURTESY DUSAN SOUDEK.<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 13


Mentor and mentee: Mark Stabb and Sara Meyer.<br />

Boreal Wildlands, Ontario.<br />

Ecological Gifts<br />

Program<br />

Environment and Climate Change<br />

Canada also supports <strong>NCC</strong>’s work<br />

through the Ecological Gifts Program<br />

(EGP). The EGP provides a tax<br />

incentive for private landowners who<br />

donate land or interests in land to<br />

qualified conservation organizations<br />

like <strong>NCC</strong>.<br />

It has been an overwhelming success.<br />

Since its inception in 1995, the<br />

program has inspired more than 1,500<br />

gifts of land across Canada. Of these,<br />

more than 340 generous donations<br />

have been made to <strong>NCC</strong>, totalling<br />

more than 140,000 hectares.<br />

just always evolved,” McLaughlin says. “I think<br />

that can be tied back to our philosophy as a<br />

learning organization and as an evidence-based<br />

organization, where you take what you<br />

learned and then you build on it. And you<br />

keep moving forward.”<br />

That momentum has been propelled by<br />

<strong>NCC</strong>’s determination to respect the voices of<br />

all players. Over the past decade and a half,<br />

as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s<br />

findings on the residential school system have<br />

educated the public, <strong>NCC</strong> has done its own<br />

internal reflection on Indigenous issues.<br />

That’s led to what McLaughlin, who began<br />

at <strong>NCC</strong> as an intern more than two decades<br />

ago, calls “the single biggest change in the<br />

culture of <strong>NCC</strong> and in the expression of<br />

our work.”<br />

“It just became very obvious that as<br />

a private land organization, we are in a very<br />

unique position to consider ‘What does Reconciliation<br />

look like?’ given that the history<br />

of conservation in Canada has been largely<br />

detrimental to Indigenous Peoples,” she<br />

says. “Now, as the very first aspect of the<br />

conservation work we do, we are thinking<br />

hard about how to engage Indigenous<br />

Peoples. What does it mean, what are the<br />

rights, what are the responsibilities? And<br />

how do we honour that?”<br />

Back at the Cavan Swamp, Stabb<br />

and Sara Meyer, <strong>NCC</strong>’s new coordinator<br />

of conservation biology for the Greater<br />

Toronto Area, are preparing to visit<br />

another <strong>NCC</strong> project one road south. It’s<br />

the Taylor Nature Preserve, where an<br />

old barn has just been removed. Metre by<br />

metre, the barn site will be restored until<br />

it, too, is a riot of original native species,<br />

including white spruce, basswood, black<br />

cherry, sugar maple and beech. In a few<br />

years, that barren spot will be bustling with<br />

life, like the lush landscape we see before<br />

us at Cavan Swamp.<br />

That dream of caring for ecosystems<br />

over the long term, restoring them and<br />

helping them become more resilient to climate<br />

change so that nature can thrive, is<br />

what draws Meyer to <strong>NCC</strong>. Stabb, her mentor,<br />

is helping her become part of the next generation<br />

of conservation leaders.<br />

“I love learning more about past conservation<br />

methods and how to apply them to<br />

current efforts,” Meyer says.<br />

She looks around her, listening to the<br />

birds, weighing the meaning of this place.<br />

“It’s very cool. It was <strong>NCC</strong>’s first major<br />

project. I see the history. And I feel a sense<br />

of wanting to protect it for the future,” she<br />

says. “It’s beautiful.”1<br />

ANDREW WARREN. MIKE FORD.<br />

14 FALL <strong>2022</strong><br />

natureconservancy.ca


<strong>NCC</strong> staff member setting her<br />

sights at Happy Valley Forest, ON.<br />

Pipestone Creek, SK.<br />

“Congratulations <strong>NCC</strong> on 60 years of<br />

conservation success! We’ve been<br />

proud to partner with you as you’ve<br />

grown into one of the world’s<br />

foremost conservation organizations.<br />

BRIANNA ROYE; INSET: JASON BANTLE.<br />

“The Weston Family Foundation<br />

shares your commitment to<br />

protecting and restoring biodiversity<br />

in Canadian landscapes. We look<br />

forward to continuing our work<br />

together to conserve a thriving<br />

natural world for all.”<br />

— Emma Adamo, Chair,<br />

Weston Family Foundation<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 15


21 FALL <strong>2022</strong> natureconservancy.ca<br />

TKTKTKTKTKTKT


TKTKTKTKTKTKT<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 22


Your<br />

natural<br />

legacy<br />

The Nature Legacy Society is<br />

a group of over 2,000 Canadians<br />

who have left a gift to <strong>NCC</strong> in<br />

their Wills<br />

A<br />

s we look back and celebrate<br />

60 years of the Nature<br />

Conservancy of Canada’s<br />

(<strong>NCC</strong>’s) history, we can’t help but<br />

think about the thousands of Canadians<br />

who have supported us on this<br />

journey, and the vital lands and waters<br />

that will be sustained well into the<br />

future. <strong>NCC</strong> has set ambitious goals to<br />

ensure that our most cherished habitats<br />

and the species that depend on<br />

them are conserved for the long term.<br />

Legacy gifts have been instrumental<br />

to the foundation of <strong>NCC</strong>. They have<br />

provided us with the funds that support<br />

the day-to-day operations of Canada’s<br />

largest land conservation charity.<br />

These gifts provide resources that<br />

allow us to set ambitious goals and<br />

commit to milestone conservation<br />

initiatives across Canada.<br />

Nature Legacy Society members<br />

share a vision for the future where important<br />

ecosystems, habitats and wildlife<br />

are protected well beyond their<br />

lives. They have trusted <strong>NCC</strong> with the<br />

most precious of gifts: their legacy.<br />

We are honoured to receive bequest<br />

gifts from donors and are grateful to<br />

the more than 2,000 members of the<br />

Nature Legacy Society who have informed<br />

us of a future provision to <strong>NCC</strong><br />

through a gift in their Will.<br />

The successes we share as an organization<br />

working to conserve our<br />

most valuable natural spaces can be<br />

directly attributed to the dedication<br />

and commitment of you, our donors.<br />

Laurie Arbeau with a 10-week old beaver rescued from the side of the road.<br />

Laurie Arbeau<br />

“My whole life, I have always felt a connection to nature. If one can just take a moment to<br />

sit, block out all the human-made sounds and activities, allow yourself to listen and really look<br />

at what is before you, it doesn’t take long to realize just how amazing, beautiful and balanced<br />

nature is, and to think it costs us nothing to be able to enjoy this reality.<br />

“I have a personal saying that is very dear and meaningful to me. It represents how I feel about<br />

nature and the lessons my father taught me on several camping trips as I was growing up: “Fly<br />

free, swim free, roam free.”<br />

“I choose to leave a gift in my Will to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, as to me this<br />

organization represents the very saying that is dear to me. It brings me comfort and peace<br />

knowing <strong>NCC</strong> is hard at work trying to protect wilderness and wildlife for the good of all.”<br />

– Laurie has been an <strong>NCC</strong> donor since 2010 and a Nature Legacy Society member since 2019.<br />

Keith Brooks, Georgian Trail, Meaford, ON.<br />

Keith Brooks<br />

“From Cathedral Grove in BC, to the Skerwink Trail in Newfoundland, to my own backyard,<br />

I have seen many amazing sights offered by nature. I’m entrusting <strong>NCC</strong> currently with my<br />

financial support and leaving a gift in my Will, as they have demonstrated a love for our natural<br />

heritage and a science-based approach on how to conserve it for future generations. By setting<br />

priorities and working with others, <strong>NCC</strong> has set a great example of how, together, we can make<br />

a difference, both today and in the years to come.”<br />

– Keith has been an <strong>NCC</strong> donor since 2001 and a Nature Legacy Society member since 2011.<br />

Greg Oneschuk<br />

Greg Oneschuk, Balancing Rock, NS.<br />

“I have always held a strong position in favour of a healthy and sustainable environment for<br />

future generations to enjoy. I believe the goals and policy of <strong>NCC</strong> closely align with that philosophy.”<br />

– Greg has been an <strong>NCC</strong> donor since 2014 and a Nature Legacy Society member since 2018.<br />

PHOTOS COURTESY LAURIE ARBEAU, KEITH BROOKS AND GREG ONESCHUK.<br />

18 FALL <strong>2022</strong> natureconservancy.ca


A NATURAL LEGACY<br />

FOR THE FUTURE<br />

A Gift in your Will to the<br />

Nature Conservancy of<br />

Canada will go to protect<br />

our most vulnerable natural<br />

areas and the wildlife that<br />

live there, for generations<br />

to come.<br />

TKTKTKTKTKTKT<br />

For more information on how you can leave a gift<br />

for nature in your Will, please contact Jackie today<br />

to request your free information booklet.<br />

877-231-3552 x. 2275 | planned.giving@natureconservancy.ca<br />

natureconservancy.ca<br />

FALL <strong>2022</strong> 19


THANK YOU!<br />

SCAN TO<br />

SIGN UP<br />

Thank you for 60 years of conservation success! As we celebrate<br />

the last six decades with you, we look ahead to the next 60 years.<br />

To get the latest on conservation, connecting with nature, upcoming<br />

events and more, sign up for our email newsletter at<br />

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With nature, we are building a thriving world.

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