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Powder Island

Nature Conservancy Powder Islands #LSN_Tourism

 
THUNDER BAY, ON ----  September 26, 2016 (LSN) The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has conserved a forested site in Lake Superior — the 399-acre (162 hectare) Powder Islands. The Powder Islands are located less than one kilometre off the coast of Lake Superior near Rossport in the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. These two islands are almost completely forested, supporting bald eagles and rare Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
 
The Powder Islands are comprised of two large islands: Anguros Island (299 acres/121 hectares) and a smaller, unnamed island located to the west (100 acres/40 hectares). These islands are almost completely dominated by Lake Superior coastal forests.
 
Ecological significance
 
Situated where an evergreen forest overlies the Canadian Shield, the Boreal Shield is the largest of Canada’s terrestrial ecozones.
 
The boreal forest region is one of the world’s largest biogeoclimatic zones. Encircling the North Pole, it shares a similar climate, geography and biodiversity. It is in fact Canada’s largest ecosystem, stretching across all provinces except New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia. It covers 1.8 million square kilometres and encompasses almost 20 percent of Canada’s landmass. Its myriad rivers and lakes account for 22 percent of Canada’s freshwater surface area.
 
Close to 75 percent of the country’s forests are found in the boreal zone.
 
The Powder Islands are located within the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area — the largest protected freshwater area on Earth. Conservation of the Powder Islands will further the protection of this National Marine Conservation Area and will prevent land use activities that could impact the area. The Powder Islands are also very close to Wilson Island, NCC’s largest project in Lake Superior totalling over 4,700 acres (1,900 hectares).
 
NCC’s focus on collaboration is underlined by our relationship with the Pays Plat First Nation. One of our core ways of connecting and building collaboration is to ensure a full-time intern (often from the Pays Plat community) is a physical presence in the area during the summer months. We have been working in the area for 15 years, and continue to build on connections with Pays Plat, other First Nations, and forestry, mining and energy sectors.
 
The Pays Plat First Nations have identified the Powder Islands as an important cultural site and the group will be a partner in NCC’s long-term management of the property.
 
Habitat
 
Characteristic forest types include dense coniferous forests of white spruce, jack pine and balsam fir, and mixed forests with spruce, fir, poplar and white birch.
 
The islands support many other habitat features including steep cliffs, cobble beaches, small inland lakes and Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
 
Rare species that have been documented here include bald eagle and a small blue wildflower called Franklin’s scorpion-weed.
 
The shallow waters around these islands provide spawning habitat for lake trout and lake whitefish, and stop-over habitat for migrating waterfowl.
 
This project was finalized thanks to contributions from TD Forests and Environment and Climate Change Canada – Natural Areas Conservation Program.
 
The Nature Conservancy of Canada feels the stretch of Lake Superior from Pigeon River to Wawa is the last section of truly wild coastline on the Great Lakes — and needs conservation.  We will continue to talk with willing private land owners in that area to preserve additional wilderness areas.
 
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has helped preserve over 4,000 hectares in the region.

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As part of National Forest Week, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has finalized 6 forest conservation projects in Ontario as part of 25 new conservation areas for habitat and species at risk across the country.
 

Ontario
��   43 acres – Backus Woods Addition – Norfolk County – Carolinian Forest
��   30 acres – Point Abino Woods – Niagara Region – Carolinian Forest
��   22,000 acres – near Lake Huron – Great Lakes Mixed Forest
��   399 acres – Powder Islands – Northern Lake Superior
��   1,478 acres – Crane River Bruce Peninsula – Great Lakes Mixed Forest
��   296 acres – Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Forest
 
 
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and TD Bank Group (TD) are marking National Forest Week with the announcement of 25 conservation projects across the country.
 
The projects were made possible through the TD Forests program, which works to help protect critical forest habitat and grow and enhance urban green space. Over $5 million was invested by TD Forests to conserve and care for some of Canada’s most important forest habitat through NCC.
 
The conservation projects total more than 40,606 acres (16,432 hectares). That’s an area equivalent to more than 27,000 Canadian football fields – or 15 football fields a day over the five year initiative!
 
The sites represent a diversity of forest types found right across the country, from coastal rainforest in British Columbia, to montane forests in Alberta, to Great Lakes - St. Lawrence forest in Ontario and Quebec and boreal forest on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland & Labrador.
 
These projects include examples of rare old growth forest habitat and important wildlife corridors. They protect 50 kilometres of rivers and streams and provide habitat for 63 species at risk including grizzly bear, cerulean warbler, spring salamander, limber pine and Kentucky coffee tree.
 
Forests also provide additional benefits such as carbon storage, flood control, air purification and temperature modification. The report, The Natural Capital Value of Forest Habitat Conservation, produced by NCC scientists and the TD Economics team, reveals that just three of the 25 projects conserved provide more than $86 million in environmental benefits per year.
 

 
 

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