A message from Long Point World Biosphere Reserve President Rick Levick:
We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territories of the Attawandaron, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe peoples and show respect today to the communities of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and the Mississaugas of the Credit whose Treaty lands include the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve.
We should be proud that a significant portion of the Long Point Biosphere Reserve (LPBR) was selected as a “Priority Place” because it recognizes this community’s long history of conservation that goes back more than a century to the founding of Canada’s first forestry station in St. Williams.
That tradition of conservation continues to the present day through the work of many local agencies and community organizations within their own mandates or as part of collective efforts to preserve this area’s significant biodiversity. Two recent examples are the success of the Long Point Phragmites Action Alliance in removing this invasive reed from the Long Point wetlands and the Long Point Causeway Project in significantly reducing reptile road mortality.
That’s probably why the Priority Place project has employed the same cooperative approach by forming Working Groups to tackle the greatest threats faced by the Species at Risk that live here. Together, the member organizations of these Working Groups form the Long Point Walsingham Forest Collaborative.
One of the LPBR’s most important roles is fostering collaboration and cooperation among the many groups that recognize and value this area’s natural heritage. Our involvement in the LPWF includes engaging in stewardship and outreach activities that help promote the conservation efforts of the Collaborative and generate public awareness and support for the project.
For example, we developed a public database of maps collected from several different agencies and conservation organizations showing many geospatial features of the Priority Place and Norfolk County. We also created a story map in which Maya the Blanding’s Turtle explains the threats to her home in the Priority Place. The LPBR developed and manage the Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place website, social media content, and print materials including this very newspaper insert.
Our hope is that this insert helps people recognize and celebrate the incredible biodiversity of this area and take pride in this community’s long history of preserving it for future generations.