Cross-border partnership leads to Great Lakes conservation success
Approaching the shores of Big Trout Bay, one of NCC’s newly protected areas in Ontario, you are immediately transported into a place of rugged natural beauty. In the distance, you can hear the waves crashing onto Lake Superior’s shore and, as you draw closer, the calls of songbirds that live in the coastal boreal forest.
This 2,517-acre (1,018-hectare) property is located just minutes from the southern Canada-U.S. border and 45 minutes from Thunder Bay. Its densely forested land and towering cliffs are crucial to many native species, including bald eagle and peregrine falcon, both of which are assessed as special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Nearly half of Canada’s bird species rely on boreal habitat, such as that found at Big Trout Bay, to complete their life cycle. Many of these species migrate throughout the Americas.
The property includes 21 kilometres of undeveloped shoreline, with towering cliffs, stretches of open bedrock and rugged cobble beach. These coastal areas are especially important for biodiversity: the harsh, lakeshore environment supports uncommon, northern species, such as bird’s-eye primrose. Songbirds benefit from the large number of insects that emerge from the water. The intact forest and wetland mosaic provide habitat for moose and protect the coastal waters for lake trout.
In August 2016, this beautiful natural area was conserved for the benefit of future generations thanks to more than 10 years of cross-border efforts and through the support of many individuals and organizations, including funding from the Government of Canada, through the Natural Areas Conservation Program and thanks to the generous partnership of the J.A. Woollam Foundation, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the Bobolink Foundation, the Rogers Foundation, The Nature Conservancy’s Wisconsin and Minnesota programs, The Conservation Fund, Green Leaf Advisors and many individual donors in both the United States and Canada.