Member Profile: Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy

How long have you been around, and who helps run your land trust? 

The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) officially opened as a registered charity in 1997. Today, EBC is run by a hard-working staff and many loyal volunteers. Bob Barnett (one of the founders of EBC) still plays a key role in EBC, where he oversees landowner relations.

EBC’s board is made up of generous individuals. Some of these individuals include people who have donated land to EBC (either fee simple or conservation agreements), lawyers and conservation enthusiasts. The board covers a significant amount of Ontario, ranging from Toronto to Manitoulin Island. EBC has many volunteers that help them monitor their 150 (and counting) nature reserves every year!

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What is a project or program that you are especially proud of, and you would like people to know about? 

Since the early 2000’s EBC has been protecting significant Alvar habitat and Lake Huron shoreline on the western shore of the Northern Bruce Peninsula. Today, EBC has acquired over 1000 acres of land along Cape Hurd.

This area is home to a multitude of rare vegetation communities and species at risk, including the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Milksnake, Hill’s Thistle, Lakeside Daisy and Dwarf Lake Iris to name a few. The most recent addition to this project came at the end of 2015 when EBC successfully secured another 94 acres expanding the Barney Lake section of the Cape Hurd Project to the shores of Lake Huron. EBC, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Nature and Ontario Heritage Trust have all played a role in protecting this area of the Bruce Peninsula.

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What is on the horizon for the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy? 

EBC will continue conservation efforts by securing one property per month. EBC coordinates trails on Manitoulin Island and about 10 other nature reserves. In an effort to increase public access to their protected areas, EBC plans to expand this trail network by adding trails to many of their nature reserves this season. EBC is also working with OLTA in 2015/16 to improve on the accurate reporting of and stewardship for species at risk.