People interested in finding out more about a revised plan for the Rainy-Lake of the Woods region and taking a picture tour of Rainy Lake with a local photographer are welcome to attend, thanks to the Rainy Lake Conservancy.
The two presentations begin at 2 p.m. Aug. 11 at La Place Rendez-Vous in Fort Frances. There is no cost to attend.
Gary Davies, Nature Conservancy of Canada program director, will focus his presentation on the revised NCC conservation plan for the Rainy-Lake of the Woods region.
“The area is one of 13 natural areas in Ontario where NCC focuses its conservation work,” Davis said in a news release. “It’s the second largest natural area in the province, spanning approximately 4.5 million acres and more than 16,000 islands. The NCC currently owns six properties within this region.”
RLC President Carolyn Wallis said the NCC mandate is in line with that of RLC.
“Many RLC members and supporters have protected portions of their own islands through conservation easements or donated some very small islands to keep them as natural wilderness,” she said. “It’s a win-win collaboration for both the island owners, and the environment. Owners of the islands work with a land trust to conserve the natural values of his or her land while still holding title, living on, selling, using, or passing on the land. There are tax benefits as well.”
Freshwater islands are prime habitat for fish, invertebrates, plants, and birds, the release said. They provide feeding, spawning and nursery areas for many species. There are more than 500 vascular plants in the watershed. Land protection organizations take inventory of plants on RLC easement and NCC properties. Rare plants are protected for the long term. Sometimes invasive plants are removed.
“We continue to find out interesting ecological information about the properties and their significant species of plants, birds, mammals, and of course old growth red and white pine forests,” Wallis said in the release.
“The Rainy Lake Conservancy is an important partner to the NCC,” Davies said. “Three hundred and sixty acres of land is currently protected on Rainy Lake with the help of this volunteer group. That’s impressive. The Rainy Lake Conservancy and NCC have been conservation partners for about 20 years, starting in 1999 with the purchase of two-thirds of Goose Island on Rainy Lake, a home to significant habitat.”
The RLC, with the help of support from the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, has developed a packet of materials, including a map of all current easements and donations, which is available on request.
The second presentation is a picture tour of beautiful Rainy Lake by Kim Embretson, photographer and RLC newsletter editor.
“Embretson is known for his gorgeous pictures of Rainy Lake,” Wallis said. “I’m looking forward to getting a few tips on photo composition and lighting.”
In addition, the public is welcome to attend a 15-minute meeting of the Rainy Lake Conservancy, just prior to the presentations, during which conservancy members vote for board of director candidates and receive a report about RLC conservation efforts. Food and beverages will follow the meeting.