New conservation areas in the Pontiac
Pontiac January 18, 2023
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), a not-for-profit group dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing wetlands for ducks announced that they purchased more than 80 hectares of wetlands in the MRC Pontiac, totaling six properties located on Isle-aux-Allumettes and Île-du-Grand-Calumet.
A press release describing the purchase described the properties’ locations on the Ottawa River as “a high-priority area for the conservation of waterfowl and their habitats.”
The area will serve to provide ducks and other birds, mammals and reptiles with food, water, shelter and nesting sites, according to the press release. They, along with other protected sites in the area, will form a part of a broader network of conversation sites essential to maintaining regional biodiversity, according to the press release.
DUC also promises that the properties will remain open to the public for the purpose of wildlife observation and hiking.
Of the property owners mentioned in the press release, DUC tells the stories of Mrs. La Salle and Mr. Von Witzleben, only mentioning them by their last names.
It explains how La Salle was contacted by DUC last spring to sell some family land on Calumet Island and was convinced by the promise of preserving the site’s natural heritage for future generations.
“For me, ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of this gem of the Pontiac region, now frequented by visitors from all over the world, is a great way to commemorate my beloved father who originally acquired the land to preserve rafting activities in the region,” said La Salle.
Von Witzleben on Allumette Island is said to have had a relationship with DUC and conservation dating back to the 1980s when he worked with them to install nesting boxes on his beach.
“Over the years, I’ve seen the bird population grow, witnessed natural evolution, seen several small families grow. When DUC approached me to buy my property, I couldn’t have asked for a better future for my flocks. It is also the consecration of the efforts of my family to preserve the value of the site not only for hunting, but especially to preserve its integrity,” explained Von Witzleben.
DUC end the release by acknowledging their public and private partners that facilitated the groups purchase of the land including Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Echo Foundation, the Fondation de la faune du Québec, as well as the Government of Quebec and the Nature Conservancy of Canada through the programme de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN).
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