The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has received $100,000 through the Manitoba Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund to restore connectivity within the Blue Wing Corridor, the area between Riding Mountain National Park and the Duck Mountain Provincial Forest to its west.

"We have been very fortunate to work with dozens of landowners in the area of the blue wing corridor, and it's just an incredible landscape with rolling hills, river valleys, forest, grasslands," shares project coordinator, Cary Hamel.  "And it's a working landscape with people farming and running cattle, but it's also really important for wildlife."

Hamel says they have landowners who have donated their land to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and have occasionally sold to the NCC, or they have entered into agreements with the NCC.  "So, we'll be conserving some of the important lands in those areas, which will still be available for hunting, farming and for cattle."

Hamel says it's important to note that these area landowners have approached the NCC to assist in the conservation efforts and restoration of forest lands.  

"As people of the area know it is teaming with species such as elk and deer," he adds. "So, this funding will allow us to continue to work with local area landowners to conserve land in that corridor for people's health, for wildlife. But it will also let us do a little bit of forest restoration." 

"Local residents have been sharing with us their concern about the rate of forest loss, and in fact we have seen some studies that show that since the 1960s forests have declined from 60% in that area down to only 16%."

Hamel says there will be 100 acres of forest that will be restored with 80,000 trees native to that area of the province that can handle a late spring or an early frost: aspen forest and balsam poplar and probably some white spruce.

Please listen to more with Cary Hamel below as he shares more on this project!

For more on the Nature Conservancy of Canada please visit their website by clicking HERE!