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Domtar, Nature Conservancy of Canada partner on private land conservation agreement


April 22, 2022
By P&PC Staff

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Domtar has entered into a long-term partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), establishing the largest private land conservation agreement in Canadian history.

The NCC will manage a large private tract in Ontario spanning 1,450 square kilometres of boreal forest, for research and conservation. The area was previously managed as a wood supply to Domtar’s pulp and paper mills. Formerly known as the Hearst Forest, the area is recognized for its ecosystem and abundant wildlife.

As per the terms of this partnership agreement, Domtar is transferring ownership of the land to NCC for $7 million below its appraised value.

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“Domtar is excited to be engaging with the smart men and women at NCC, who share many of our values regarding sustainable forest management, science-based research and public transparency,” said Rob Melton, senior vice-president, commercial, pulp and paper. “The transfer of this land allows NCC to transition the management of this forest landscape to research and conservation.”

The provincial and federal governments are supporting NCC’s interest in acquiring and managing this area, in recognition of the land’s ecological attributes.

NCC’s commitment to the continued science-based management of this forestland and its practice of sharing the findings of research conducted on its conservation lands with the public motivated Domtar to partner with NCC on this project.

“Conservation opportunities of this magnitude are incredibly rare, and NCC is thrilled to have the chance to work at this scale to make a difference for nature, for wildlife, and for people,” says Kristyn Ferguson, NCC’s program director for large landscapes in Ontario. “The more we learn about this area — the ability of its wetlands to store carbon, the wildlife habitat it provides, the cultural significance of the rivers within it — the clearer it becomes that Boreal Wildlands will have measurable positive impacts at scales from the local to the global.”