Partnership agreement to protect Loon Lake wetland in Frontenac County

A sunset over Loon Lake in Central Frontenac Township. Photo by Monte Hummel.

The “ecologically sensitive” lands surrounding Loon Lake in Central Frontenac have now been added to a conservation network north of Kingston which spans more than 2,000 hectares, according to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

Loon Lake, which is situated in northern Central Frontenac Township just west of Third Depot Lake, is within a parcel of property owned by “nature champion” Monte Hummel, according to the NCC. Today, Friday, Mar. 17, 2023, the NCC announced their organization has reached an agreement with Hummel to “protect the final piece of land” in the 2,000+ hectare conservation network it oversees in the area – the wetland at Loon Lake.

Graphic via Google Maps.

The NCC and Hummel have worked in partnership to conserve the majority of Loon Lake through a number of conservation agreements for more than 25 years, the organization said in its announcement. Covering 0.4 hectares, the “small but significant land parcel” added to the conservation network most through their most recent agreement covers the area at Glen’s Cove, which is located at the east end of the lake, the NCC said. Acquiring the parcel in its conservation portfolio “helps ensure that the area remains barrier-free for wide-ranging animals such as black bear, fisher, and otter, and that the lake is protected for migratory birds, like the common loon,” according to a media release from the conservation organization.

The agreements prohibit development and effects land use limitations on the parcel, as well as conserving habitat, which ensures the “delivery of clean water downstream to communities,” while also protecting the ecological integrity of the area by establishing such a large network of adjoining land parcels. The protected sites at Loon Lake link to public lands, and to the Depot Lakes Conservation Area. In addition, the area, combined with the adjacent undeveloped lands, extends eastward to the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, according to the NCC.

“This latest conservation agreement brings to life a conservation vision decades in the making,” said Rob McRae, Eastern Ontario Program Director for the NCC.

“Monte Hummel’s dedication to nature has allowed us to connect wildlife corridors and secure water sources for our communities. This is an important contribution to the conservation of the broader area northwest of Kingston.”

According to the NCC, Hummel’s ongoing passion for local wilderness grows out of his family’s connection to the land for the past 60 years. The now-protected area is home to over 30 at-risk species, including monarch butterflies (endangered), snapping turtles (special concern), nighthawk (special concern), whip-poor-will (threatened), and five-lined skink (special concern

“Protecting such a beautiful place on the Canadian Shield during my lifetime has been an honour. And I feel that extending that stewardship for another 999 years is the least I can do to thank Loon Lake for its generosity to my family in our modest off-grid cabin for over 60 years,” said Hummel.

“Further, the conservation agreement announced today includes a lovely bay called Glen’s Cove, named in memory of Canadian conservation philanthropist Glen Davis — a close personal friend for nearly 40 years, who made a monumental impact on conservation across Canada.”

The new agreement will benefit from financial contributions through the provincial government, according to David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“Our government is proud to support this project through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, a $20 million investment over four years to help conserve important natural areas, like Loon Lake, as well as the many species that depend on them,” Piccini said in a statement.

“I want to thank Monte Hummel for his incredible generosity and also recognize the tremendous work the Nature Conservancy of Canada is doing with its many partners to conserve more greenspaces here in Ontario and leaving a legacy for the benefit of future generations.” 

The NCC is a Canada-wide private, not-for-profit nature conservation organization which has, with its partners, helped to conserve ecologically-important lands across the country since 1962. This includes more than 15 million hectares of protected lands coast to coast to coast, as well as more than 196,000 hectares in Ontario.

Learn more about the Nature Conservancy of Canada on the NCC website.

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