Conservation in Perpetuity of 3 Properties Located in the Appalachian Corridor Area 2009-10

Conservation in Perpetuity of 3 Properties Location in the Appalachian Corridor Area Final Project Report 2009/2010 (pdf) (In French only)

Goals and Objectives

The project aims to protect in perpetuity, about 58 hectares in total of which 16.7 hectares is wetlands. With the help of conservation easements, three properties that shelter wetlands would be conserved.

Activities

Efforts carried out with regard to this funding request have led to the commitment of each of the targeted landowners to protect these properties in perpetuity. These commitments result from on the ground awareness work and neighbourhood meetings with our local conservation groups. Here are the activities which should be undertaken following the approval of the project:

  • Complete inventories (plants, birds, amphibians and reptiles, indices of animal presence) on the properties and production of conservation plans to guide the landowners in their conservation approaches on their properties;
  • Negotiation of the terms of the easements with each of the landowners:
    • Meetings with the landowners;
    • Research and verification of the (property) titles;
    • Drafting of conservation easements and finalizing agreements;
    • Coordination of specialists (certified appraiser, surveyor, notary, etc.);
    • Linking with conservation organizations.
  • Coordination of all phases of the Ecogift program (Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, and Parks, and Environment Canada);
  • Surveying and evaluation of the fair market value by recognized and authorized professionals;
  • Agreements signed before a notary;
  • Writing property management plans;
  • Writing communications and recognition documents (articles in our newsletter “News from Appalachian Corridor”, press release, website, etc.);
  • Tagging/marking properties and putting up posters indicating the protection status of the area.

Specific Habitat Products/Results to be Supported by WHC’s Contributions

The targeted wetlands are all located on private land. Three different landowners are involved. Here are the main features of these properties:

Property in the Municipality of Stanstead

Total area of the conservation project: 6 hectares
Area of wetlands on this property: 6 hectares
Conservation tool aimed for use: Real conservation easement

The whole ground is characterized by an open wetland, inside of which the channel furrows are partially or completely flooded. This plant community is dominated by herbaceous and shrubby species. The arborescent layer is especially made up of willows and alders. The herbaceous layer is dominated by the grasses, the ostrick fern/fiddleheads, the giant goldenrod and the monnayère. In the submerged places, there are aquatic herbs and other species like the pondweed, the water lily flower mix and the broad-leaved cattails which one most frequently observes.

The property is located near a property sheltering the wetlands which are currently protected by the Memphr émagog Wetlands Foundation. These properties are located along the Tomifobia River, a main tributary of Lake Massawippi. Currently, these tributaries are responsible for suspended matter and nutrients that affect the water quality of the lake and are not usable as a source of drinking water for the municipality. It is therefore particularly important to protect and conserve in a natural state, the wetlands along the Tomifobia River so that they can play their roles in regulating the water level and filtering it. When it is protected by the Memphr  émagog Wetlands Foundation, the property’s marsh will contribute to the consolidation and enlargement of the area of protected natural areas in the area of the Tomifobia River valley.

Property in the Municipality of Stukely-South

Total area of the conservation project: 42 hectares
Area of wetlands on this property: About 8.5 hectares
Conservation tool aimed for use: Real conservation easement

This property is mostly forested but also shelters a treed swamp and shrubs along a brook crossing the property (western sector). Another portion of a marsh is also present in the south-east of the property. The principal forest settlements present in the marshy sectors are a fir cedar and a red maple lumber.

The conservation of this property is part of the conservation strategy of the Stukely-South Nature Conservation Association aimed at protecting natural environments with the highest value in terms of ecology and where the threats to their integrity are the most serious. The property is located in the peripheral area of an important unfragmented forest core that is considered to be a priority for the conservation of biodiversity. In addition, the property is located at the head of the watershed of the North Yamaska River and Lake Brome. The protection of this property’s wetlands is very important for maintaining the water quality of this watershed. Finally, the conservation of this property allows the consolidation of acquired protected territory in this area and contributes to the formation of a network of protected areas. Conservation initiatives in this area and the landowners’ interest in the natural environment are increasing as the presence of a conservation organization promotes conservation actions.

Property in the Municipality of East Bolton

Total area of the conservation project: 10 hectares
Area of wetlands on this property: 2.21 hectares
Conservation tool aimed for use: Real conservation easement

The property is comprised of a treed swamp and shrubs with areas of open water surrounded by young poplars accompanied by balsam fir trees and a hardwood forest accompanied by conifers.

The conservation of the property integrates with the conservation strategy of the Serpentine Valleys Conservation which aims to protect natural environments of the Serpentine brook/stream watershed. The property is also located in the peripheral area of a large unfragmented forest core (> 10 square kilometres) identified by the Appalachian Corridor as a core conservation priority in its territory.

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

The targeted wetlands are located in areas where people recognize species with special status, such as wood turtles, the 4-toed salamander, and the marsh frog, are present. Obviously, many wildlife species are also present on these properties. Among them, there is the leopard frog, green frog, Spring Peeper frog, American toad, painted turtle, serpentine turtle, wood duck, mallard duck, great blue heron, beaver, river otter, etc. These wetlands are also heavily used by white-tailed deer and moose.

The three properties targeted for this project have interesting habitat for waterfowl. There are several species of waterfowl present in the immediate area of each of the properties. We particularly note the black duck that is a target species in Quebec under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) which has a main objective of conserving wetlands and increasing their total area.

In addition, the wetlands on one of the properties are an integral part of the wildlife habitat that is officially recognized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife as the habitat of muskrat.

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

The ecological relevance, like the model of the Appalachian Corridor project, is recognized by a multitude of organizations at the local level, as well as at the national or even international level (American partners).

With regard to the specific project presented here, it goes without saying that the protection in perpetuity of the targeted areas, including all wetlands, is a direct and tangible benefit towards the protection of important wildlife habitat for waterfowl. The tools that we use for conservation are legal agreements that are published and registered with federal government’s Ecological Gifts Program.

The three (3) conservation organizations involved in the properties in question will be the beneficiaries of the titles, but we can admit that the project will benefit the entire population by protecting our biodiversity and water quality in the targeted watersheds. The specific terms of each of the easements will be negotiated by the Appalachian Corridor with the landowners and the conservation groups. Thus, it is possible that other groups or individuals can benefit from the benefits related to the permitted and compatible uses with the conservation of these properties such as, for example, hiking trails, hunting, wildlife viewing, research activities, etc.

Project Location

The project takes place in the Appalachian Corridor area. The targeted properties are located in 3 separate municipalities: Stanstead, Stukely-South and East Bolton.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Mélanie Lelièvre, Executive Director, Appalachian Corridor, Lac Brome, Quebec.