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Inglis-Area Farmer Preserves Land In Its Natural State

Future generations will be able to appreciate the beautiful landscape and varied wildlife in this area northwest of Riding Mountain National Park, thanks to a partnership between the Nature Conservancy of Canada and a retired Inglis-area cattle producer.

Protecting the habitat in the Riding Mountain Aspen Parkland is important for future generations, according to the Nature Conservancy of Canada s Manitoba regional vice-president Ursula Goeres. The condition of this property and the care that has been taken of it is a reflection of Bill Nevistiuk s respect for the land, people and wildlife.

Goeres made the comments during a ceremony held to dedicate the Nevistiuk conservation agreement (CA). It protects 112 hectares (277 acres) of habitat located northeast of Inglis, Man.

Bill Nevistiuk s decision, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, assures that this large tract of habitat will permanently exist in harmony with the local landscape and community.

I was a conservationist all my life, said Bill Nevistiuk, while explaining why he kept the habitat intact on the property his family has owned for about 100 years. He feels the conservation easement placed on this portion of his farm will have long-lasting benefit while avoiding the pitfalls that he has witnessed on other farms that have been drained and cleared.

One of the prominent features is a small lake that is home to a wide variety of ducks and other water birds. It is surrounded by bush and grasslands that have remained unchanged since the arrival of the early settlers. Here you might see elk, moose, black bears, wolves, coyotes, fox, and a multitude of songbirds and wildflowers.

There will be long-lasting environmental and community benefits from this newly announced conservation agreement, according to Robert Sopuck, Member of Parliament, who noted that the land will continue to be grazed while also providing important conservation benefits.

This is conservation that is in tune with agriculture, he said.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada recognizes that well managed agricultural activities, like haying and grazing are important tools that can be used to manage natural habitats. Healthy landscapes create healthy rural communities and vice-versa, said Goeres.

A number of partners have made the conservation and long-term care of this property possible, said Goeres. Funding for the project was provided by the Government of Canada under the Natural Areas Conservation Program, by the Government of Manitoba through its Manitoba Region Conservation Program Grant, and by the Lake of the Prairies Conservation District.

This CA marks the first time that the NCC has worked with the Lake of the Prairies Conservation District to secure a CA. NCC values the participation of the Lake of the Prairies Conservation District, Goeres said. This is an important relationship that we hope will continue with future projects.

Under conservation easements, landowners continue to hold title to their lands but voluntarily agree to limit the amount and type of development that can take place upon them, according to information supplied by the NCC. Conservation easements are filed on the title to the land, and apply to all future owners. They are a tool for landowners to ensure that the lands they love will always remain in a natural state. A conservation agreement enables you to formalize your commitment to the long-term conservation of your land while retaining ownership.

If you would like more information about conservation agreements or any of the Nature Conservancy of Canada programs, please call the Manitoba Region s toll-free number: 1-866-683-6934, its Brandon Office: 1-204-725- 5969 or visit the NCC website: www.natureconservancy.ca/mb.

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Thisisconservation thatisintunewith agriculture.

ROBERT SOPUCK

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