Securement of the Clarence Smith property in Minesing Wetlands

Final Report: Securement of the Clarence Smith property in Minesing Wetlands, 2013-2014

Goals and Objectives

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) plans to acquire for conservation the 180 acre (73 hectare)
Clarence Smith property in the southeast portion of the Minesing Wetlands Natural Area. Once acquired
by NCC, ownership of the Clarence Smith property will be transferred to Nottawasaga Valley Conservation
Authority (NVCA) and cooperatively managed for continued conservation and public access.

Minesing Wetlands is one of the largest (23,055 acres/9,330 ha) and most undisturbed wetlands in
southern Ontario. There are four main waterways that run through the wetland: the Nottawasaga River,
Mad River, Willow Creek and Coates Creek.  These wetlands slow drainage flows from developed areas,
both urban and rural, reducing floods, filtering out pollutants and trapping sediments. There are a variety
of recreational uses in the Minesing Wetlands, including scenic canoe routes and hiking trails.

The Minesing Wetlands is one of the most significant wetland systems in southern Ontario. This wetland,
the third largest in the southern portion of the province, has extremely high biodiversity values as it is home
to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including globally rare vegetation communities, regionally rare
wetland types and many provincially and/or globally rare species. The area has several natural heritage
designations, including an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, a Provincially Significant Wetland and a
world class RAMSAR site. 

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

Recent monitoring records indicated Mallard, Wood Duck and Blue-winged Teal are breeding in the area.

During the spring, Northern Shovellers, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead and Northern Pintail (and possibly
others) use this area as an important stopover on their way to northern breeding grounds.

Our two downstream marsh monitoring stations on Willow Creek are close to the southwest property boundary.
Species observed during monitoring include Virginia Rail, Sora, Wilson’s Snipe, Marsh Wren, Great Blue
Heron, Red-winged Blackbird, Sandhill Crane, Swamp Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Black-crowned Night
Heron, Tree Swallow, Yellow Warbler, Downy Woodpecker, Warbling Vireo, American Bittern and Mallard.

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

The property will be incorporated into the Minesing Wetlands Natural Area Conservation Plan.

Project Location

Simcoe County, Ontario.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Hugh Bennett, Major Gifts Officer, Ontario Region, Nature
Conservancy of Canada.