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Power the local land trust movement every month

Ron Reid and Janet Grand

Read a letter from Janet Grand and Ron Reid, on some of the challenges faced by The Couchiching Conservancy, and how you can help.


 

We never imagined that in our lifetimes, we would be involved with a fight against a gun range.

Over 25 years, The Couchiching Conservancy has reached out to hundreds of landowners and protected thousands of acres of prime natural habitats, thanks in large part to your support. Your commitment to this work is so appreciated. We pride ourselves on working cooperatively with the community and other organizations, an approach that has served us well.

But what do we do when cooperation just isn’t possible? That’s the situation that faces us with the Cedarhurst property, smack in the middle of the Carden Alvar, an Important Bird & Biodiversity Area. This property has been a priority for well over a decade – 1350 acres of high-quality alvar and headwater wetlands, adjacent to existing protected areas, home to breeding Whip-poor-wills, Eastern Meadowlarks and other species at risk, and owned by a quarry company. It forms a vital link in creating a continuous corridor of habitats.

Wolf Run Alvar

Wolf Run Alvar

Despite repeated efforts to purchase Cedarhurst, in collaboration with Nature Conservancy of Canada, the owner recently sold it to a company proposing to build the largest shooting range in eastern North America for handguns and assault rifles. This development would not just destroy key habitats; it would also introduce a barrage of gunfire noise, involve the haulage of massive amounts of fill for berm construction, and convert six kilometres of quiet country roads to wide, year-round roadways that would be dangerous to local wildlife.

Such a development would fundamentally change the character of the Carden Alvar, well beyond the property boundaries. For the first time in our history, the Conservancy decided to strongly oppose the municipal approvals necessary for its construction. In this, we have been supported by a wide range of provincial and national organizations, and most importantly, by many residents in the Carden area.
As founders and long-time supporters of the Conservancy, we are annoyed and saddened that the Conservancy has been forced into an adversarial approach on this property. But we are determined to do whatever is necessary to stop it.

That’s why your help is needed. The Couchiching Conservancy now protects thousands of acres of vital habitat, and faces challenges like the Cedarhurst proposal, invasive species, trespass and more as part of the reality of protecting nature for future generations.

Our vision, which we know you share, is that the meadows and wetlands of Cedarhurst could become part of the growing mosaic of protected properties on the Carden Alvar. Towards that end, your financial support will play a vital part.

Please make a donation today to help protect the wild places in our region, and assist in the fight to protect nature for future generations.

Sincerely,
Ron Reid and Janet Grand
Founders and supporters of The Couchiching Conservancy


 

Your donation helps support The Couchiching Conservancy as we face these challenges and others. A strong organization allows us to be pro-active and also respond as needed.

Two anonymous donors have provided us with a $5,000 challenge gift – to add 25 people monthly donors by the end of the year to create stable support for local land trust efforts.

Monthly giving is a great option if:

  • You care about a healthy environment
  • You want to reduce paperwork and admin
  • You want to plan your giving for the year and split it up over the year
  • You don’t want reminders to give
  • You want something easy!

Donation Options:

  • Use the online donation form below to donate through Canada Helps
  • Give us a call and we can take your information and credit card over the phone: 705-326-1620
  • Download a Donation Form and mail to our office (Box 704, Orillia, ON L3V 6K7)

If you have any questions, please reach out to Tanya Clark by phone or email: 705-326-1620 or tanya@couchconservancy.ca.