Conservation News

Life's most persistent and urgent question is:  what are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King Jr 

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  1. The Mississippi Valley Conservancy  has protected over 20,000 acres permanently from development!

    Its mission is to conserve native and working landscapes.  It seeks to protect rare plant communities, threatened wildlife species, scenic beauties and opportunities to undertake sustainable agriculture.  And it gives people the chance to get outside, connect with nature and develop healthy habits with good exercise.

    You can see some of the nature reserves it has protected here.

    One of the areas protected by the Mississippi Valley Conservancy
    The Boscobel Bluffs State Natural Area is one region that is protected 
    ©Mississippi Valley Conservancy

    And it’s been able to protect more land, thanks to landowners working with the Conservancy.

    A 360 acre farm received protection forever from development, especially from frac sand mining  which is very prevalent in the county. 

    The owners of the farm, Bill and Mary Ann Hein, have achieved this permanent protection of their much loved farm by a voluntary conservation agreement with the Mississippi Valley Conservancy. 

    The property is protected from future development, mining or any other habitat destruction.

    Meantime, Tom and Sharon Sharratt have made their second conservation agreement with the Conservancy for an additional 82 acres of land in Wisconsin.  This agreement protects the natural resources on their land by limiting activities that would disrupt the farming, native habitat and wildlife that thrive there.

    40 acres of wildlife-rich land has also been added to those properties which are being permanently protected, thanks to self-described biology “nerds” Judy Kingsbury and Leslie Grossberg.

    If that wasn’t enough, the Mississippi Valley Conservancy received a rare gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor who wants to see the donation tripled to be a legacy for the Conservancy, which has launched an endowment campaign to fulfil the donor’s vision with a fund called “Our Children’s Natural Heritage Endowment.”

    The Conservancy uses public and private money to preserve land, whilst still providing public access on some lands.

    Make a donation to the Mississippi Valley Conservancy


  2. There’s a group working to protect vulnerable lands in British Columbia.

    Members of the Land Conservancy of British Colombia have given thousands of dollars in order to protect the Clearwater Wildlife Corridor. 

    Help conserve land in British Columbia, Canada©Jason Hollinger

    $61,000 have been donated so far out of the $100,000 needed.   The protection will help protect four hectares of wildlife corridor in the Clearwater River Valley.

    This corridor will connect 2 southern lobes of Wells Gray Provincial Park.  

    This means that cougar, bobcat, wolves, coyotes, grizzly, deer and mouse won’t have to cross private lands when they migrate between the winter and summer ranges.

    The private lands in the area are undergoing considerable development pressure, and the conservancy is working to find the final $39,000 of the purchase price by the end of the year so the land can be protected.

    Be a part of the protection and donate here.


  3. There’s great news for jaguars in Argentina. 

    Two jaguar cubs have been born – the first to be born from the Tompkins Conservation’s Jaguar Reintroduction Programme and the first jaguars to be born in decades in the region.

    So how did this come about?

    Back in 1983, 3.2 million acres was established - the Iberá Natural Reserve in Corrientes province, North East Argentina.  It created a tremendous opportunity for jaguar restoration.

    And the Conservation Land Trust (CLT) was established there;   it is ecologically restoring 370,000 acres of former cattle ranches to establish Argentina’s largest national park inside the larger Iberá reserve.

    And CLT started a programme to reintroduce those large mammals that became extirpated inside Iberá during the XXth century.    

    After re-establishing the presence of giant anteaters and pampas deer there, jaguars are next. 

    The Tompkins Conservation team in Argentina consists of vets and scientists, community stakeholders and policy makers – and they’ve all collaborated with the goal of breeding a generation of jaguars that could be released into their natural habitat and survive in the wild on their own.

    There are about 200 individuals in the wild in Argentina today, and about 15,000 jaguars roam the wild worldwide.

    The goal is to restore a stable 100 jaguar population to Iberá National Park – these jaguar cubs are a great start. 

    For more information on this Jaguar programme, click here



  4.  So it’s great to go solar, but not at the expense of wildlife habitat. 

    In the state of New York, Assemblyman Steve Englebright and his colleagues have been fighting to make the pretty stretch of woodland surrounding an abandoned Shoreham nuclear power plant off limits to developers.

    And back in January, the Assemblyman co-sponsored legislation to stop the site from being turned into a solar farm.

    And good news – over 800 acres of the site has been added to the publicly protected Central Pine Barrens preservation area, as well as portions of Mastic Woods.   Plus, elected officials have pushed for the state to buy the land altogether.

    About 840 acres of the property is to be bought from the National Grid in increments over a number of years, starting in 2019.  The area consists of rolling hills and cliffs, and various species of wildlife. It’s one of New York’s remaining original coastal forest tracts, so it’s an important move in terms of protecting Long Island’s natural heritage.  The National Grid had been proposing to bulldoze the forest and build a solar farm in its place. 

    It is hoped that this purchase will improve the ground and surface water quality and resilience of the coast – and support tourism. Which tourist wants to come to see a solar farm?

    Englebright is hoping to save the Mastic acres which is still destined to be a solar farm, and that alternative sites can be used for solar development. 

    Solar energy is great, but there’s a place for it and forest isn’t one of them.

    Well done to Englebright and his colleagues for this move!