600 ACRES – Ottewell Donation
EBC successfully protected 1,476 acres of land in 2016. Without a doubt, one of the largest contributors to this wonderful achievement is Richard Ottewell. Richard owned 600 acres of vacant land on the Bruce Peninsula and on Great Lakes coastal wetland. 500 acres are in Bruce County and the last 100 acres is at the northern end of Huron County on the Nine Mile River. Richard donated 300 acres (100 acres in Huron County and 200 acres in Bruce County) outright to EBC and put a conservation agreement on the remaining 300 acres in Bruce County.
The 100-acre donation in Huron County occurs within the Maitland Watershed on the Nine Mile River. The river flows a meandering course across the property from the east to the west where it eventually enters Lake Huron a few kilometres west. The property provides a vegetated corridor with forested areas to protect the river from extreme heat, wind and runoff. This section of the river is cold water and provides excellent fish habitat for rainbow trout, chinook and coho salmon. The combination of open areas and forested sections on the property provide suitable habitat for such species as the Milksnake which was reported in the area. The protection of this property contributes to improving watershed health and providing habitat for wildlife species including species at risk.
The 500 acres of land in Bruce County is located southeast of Boat Lake. These parcels occur at the southern extent of large blocks of unbroken forest cover in the region. This property is adjacent to a large Bruce County Forest, when combined, these areas add up to over 1,600 acres of contiguous land managed for conservation. This area offers habitat for a range of wildlife including those that require interior forest conditions. The Wood Thrush was heard singing during a site visit last summer. This species is designated as threatened in the province and it is often found in deciduous hardwood or mixed stands, and favor disturbed areas in large forest mosaics. Historical harvesting has opened the canopy in sections of this property to allow secondary growth, saplings and in some areas, a dense understory. These conditions combined provide ideal habitat for the Wood Thrush.
These areas will remain natural, without the risk of development or unsustainable land use forever! Thank you so much to Richard Ottewell for this amazing gift, we look forward to working with you and the future owners of this land to continue to protect the wilderness in southern Ontario.