Announcement about Bob Barnett

March 15, 2023

Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) announces that its Executive Director, Bob Barnett, is stepping away from his leadership role with the conservancy.  Bob is a founding EBC director. Bob and his wife, Anna Barnett, have selflessly devoted their professional lives to EBC since its inception in 1997. Bob and Anna have been easing this transition, by remaining as two of EBC’s most active and steadfast supporters. Everyone at EBC, including its Board, staff, supporters, and donors, are fiercely proud of Bob and Anna’s contributions to EBC over the years and wish them every happiness moving forward.

Bob founded EBC with the aim of expanding the protection of natural lands on and near the Niagara Escarpment, including along the tributaries and in wetlands of the area. Bob believed strongly that escarpment lands should be conserved throughout Ontario, including Manitoulin Island.  It was a shoestring beginning, eventually securing 22 acres in Tobermory, a site with the endangered Queensnake.    

Under Bob’s leadership, EBC secured some of Ontario’s most spectacular natural sites. These include the Cup and Saucer (Michigiwadinong), Heaven’s Gate (Kitchitwaa Shkwaandem), Fossil Hill, Michael’s Bay, SE Shore of Lake Wolsey, Barrie Island East Shore, lands adjoining the Queen Mother and Misery Bay Provincial Parks on Manitoulin, Alvar Bay, Sadler Creek on the Bruce Peninsula, and Long Swamp and Trout Hollow in Grey County.  Overall, EBC has successfully protected 225 nature preserves, spanning over 22,500 acres of land, 125 kilometers of trails, and 25 kilometers of Lake Huron shoreline. These preserves are crucial habitats for 70 endangered species, and attract over 100,000 hikers annually. By safeguarding these areas, EBC is also ensuring the protection of numerous other vulnerable habitats that might otherwise be threatened.

Bob and Anna’s example of altruism and philanthropy will leave a lasting legacy, not only in terms of acres conserved, but also the legions of enthusiastic conservers they have inspired. EBC honours their public service and sacrifice – we are committed to fulfilling their mission of preserving natural habitats for future generations and will continue to grow and strengthen our organization to achieve this goal.

To learn about EBC’s continued operations, please read the message from the Chair here: