Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

The Biosphere Reserve Between Algonquin and the Adirondacks


Press Release

November 6, 2009

Big Picture Conservation from the perspective of the nearby 1000 Islands-Frontenac Arch UNESCO Designated Biosphere Reserve at next MVFN lecture

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) lecture series “Algonquin to Adirondacks (A2A): Big Picture Conservation” continues Thursday, November 19 with a lecture about the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve located south-west of us. The central theme of the A2A lecture series has been shifting our thinking about biodiversity protection to a broader, ‘bigger picture’ scale than we are accustomed to. During our October lecture we learned about Algonquin Park, the northern anchor of the A2A conservation corridor, from Park Naturalist Justin Peter. This month we are pleased to welcome Don Ross, Executive Director of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve (FABR) for a presentation on this special region located between Algonquin and the Adirondacks.

We are fortunate to live close to a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve such as the !000 Islands-Frontenac Arch, which is one of only fifteen biosphere reserves found in all of Canada (worldwide 553 biosphere reserves are found across 107 countries). The 2,700 square km of the Frontenac Arch biosphere reserve stretches from the St. Lawrence River north to the southern tip of Lanark County and includes over 70 of the 300 km of the Algonquin to Adirondacks conservation corridor. Here one finds the intersection of the broad and ancient Frontenac axis (the granite ridge and important wildlife corridor joining the northern Canadian Shield regions to the Adirondack Mountains) and the St. Lawrence Valley. At this significant crossroads of two significant migration routes for plants and animals, one finds the greatest diversity of living things in Eastern Canada!

The Frontanac Arch Biosphere Reserve organization is designed to meet one of the most challenging issues we face today: preservation of the diversity of plants, animals and micro-organisms in our living “biosphere” through maintenance of healthy natural systems, while, at the same time, meeting the material needs and aspirations of an increasing number of people. How can we reconcile conservation of natural resources with their sustainable use? Biosphere reserves were designed as tools to help reconcile and integrate conflicting interests and pressures that characterize land-use planning today.

How is the FABR fulfilling its goal to facilitate co-operative action toward a more sustainable way of life? Initiatives have included the development of self-guided canoe and kayak routes through the historic 1000 Islands, the Local Flavours Project, and the waterfront living and healthy shorelines program. Most recently, a project was initiated to develop key indicators of economic, environmental, social and cultural health in the biosphere region for use in monitoring the state-of-the-biosphere. Don Ross, Executive Director of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, will tell us all about how this biosphere reserve works in his presentation “The Biosphere Reserve Between Algonquin and the Adirondacks.” What might we learn that we could apply to life in Lanark County? Find out at this MVFN lecture, 7:30 pm Thursday November 19 at the Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte. For further information please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Cathy Keddy at 613-257-3089.

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