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Our Natural World: Conservation Challenges

Press Release

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

August 21, 2007

By Pauline Donaldson

“Our Natural World: Conservation Challenges” for trees, snakes, turtles, butterflies, mammals . . . in Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ new lecture series

An all new Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists lecture series “Our Natural World: Conservation Challenges” will kick-off Thursday September 20th in Almonte with a presentation by Mississippi Mills native and Ducks Unlimited Canada’s (DUC), Jamie Fortune.

In the keynote lecture for the series, Mr. Fortune will identify key issues in the multi-level and multi-faceted challenge of environmental sustainability. Drawing on examples from Ducks Unlimited Canada and other groups, as well as his far-ranging experience -from local to international- in habitat conservation, he will discuss strategic approaches to conservation. Subsequent lectures in the monthly series will each zero in on an individual species or group and provide a back-to-basics approach to identifying the unique conservation challenges each may face.

As DUC’s Director of Regional Operations for Eastern Canada, Jamie Fortune oversees conservation, fundraising, education, and research program delivery in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Duck’s Unlimited’s mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats in North America, and next year will celebrate 70 years of work including millions of acres of habitat conserved and more than 6,800 habitat projects completed across the country.

Prior to joining DUC seven years ago, Jamie Fortune was Director of Programs for Wildlife Habitat Canada and was an Extension Specialist and Stewardship Coordinator with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Jamie spends his working hours championing wetland conservation and engaging people in conservation action. At home in Mississippi Mills he and his wife and three children share their love of nature and the outdoors with family and friends. With the family’s Lanark County sugar bush and other property Jamie stays strongly connected to the realities of private land ownership and resource management.

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists are excited about this years lecture series. Following the September lecture by Mr. Fortune, the focus on species begins with “Trees” in October, with Diana Beresford-Kroeger, environmentalist and author of Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest, “Snakes” in November with Tobi Keisewalter of Murphy’s Point Provincial Park, and “Butterflies” in the first lecture of 2008 (January) with Jean Lauriault of the Museum of Nature. For further information on these and other lectures in the series, please contact Joyce Clinton, MVFN’s Program Director at 613-257-4879 or look for further details on MVFN’s website at


OMNR forestry expert Linda Touzin addresses the audience during an MVFN lecture last year in Almonte Photo: Howard Robinson, MVFN VP


Lanark Highlands Councillor Peter McLaren presented “Agriculture in the Watershed” at last years MVFN lecture series. Photo: Howard Robinson, MVFN VP




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