Local land owner commits to donating 97-hectares to the Nature Conservancy of Canada

PROTECTING THE LAND The McMahon Bluff on the South Shore of Prince Edward County, owned by local land owner Mike Wilson, has generously agreed to donate the 97-hectare (241-acers) of his land to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to help preserve the property which provides vital breeding and stopover habitat for migratory birds. (Photo by Bert Jenkins)

 

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

Local land owner Mike Wilson has generously agreed to donate his 97-hectare (241-acres), McMahon Bluff, to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and is working with the NCC to make the property an ecological gift.

However, the NCC needs to raise funds to cover associated costs for the acquisition, to fund a management plan and to invest in a stewardship fund to ensure this ecologically significant property is cared for over the long-term.

To complete the project this winter the registered charity and land trust needs to raise $460,000.

McMahon Bluff is well-known to local residents and visitors to the South Bay area of PEC. The prominent bluff, also known as a ‘mesa’, boasts steep slopes, cliff faces, forest, savanna, alvar and more than 2 kilometres of rare undeveloped Lake Ontario shoreline. Its limestone cliffs rise almost 30 meters above Lake Ontario and the mouth of the Black River.

Just north of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, the property provides vital breeding and stopover habitat for migratory birds and supports a rich diversity of rare wildflowers and other plants. If protected, McMahon Bluff will provide an important link in a chain of other conserved lands around the PEC South Shore.

“I grew up not too far from Prince Edward County (PEC) and always loved the area,” expressed Wilson. “I believe McMahon’s Bluff is an extraordinary piece of shoreline in the County that should be conserved. I hope others will do as I have done and support the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s conservation efforts in Prince Edward County and beyond. It’s more critical now than ever before!”

McMahon Bluff holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the local community. In recent years, there has been concern that the property might be developed, and about 15 years ago there was a valiant attempt by the community, led by the local Hastings-Prince Edward Land Trust, to acquire the property for conservation.

This historic opportunity comes on the heels of an announcement by the Province of Ontario to begin the process of establishing a Conservation Reserve covering roughly 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres) of provincial lands on the south shore of PEC. The McMahon Bluff project will be an important complement to this larger, growing movement to protect special natural spaces in the County.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, with more than 84,000 hectares (207,000 acres) in Ontario.

For more information, or to donate, contact Pia Vahabi, senior development officer at 1.877.231.3552 Ext. 2222 or pia.vahabi@natureconservancy.ca.

or visit natureconservancy.ca.