Biosphere acquires two new Manitoulin properties

MANITOULIN—Winter may be making its presence felt full bore lately, but the folks at the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) have not been idle. The EBC has recently acquired two Assiginack properties that they will be adding to their conservation efforts on Manitoulin.

The smaller parcel is a piece of shoreline property that has EBC Executive Director Bob Barnett pretty excited. “It is great to be able to protect a piece of land on the shoreline,” he said. 

The second parcel is a 60-acre piece of land that was donated by Dr. Roy Jeffery located off New England Road. That parcel abuts the municipally owned McLeans Park and the EBC-owned Fossil Hill property.

“I acquired that piece of property about 10 years ago,” said Dr. Jeffery. “I bought it because it has a maple stand and some pieces of escarpment on it, just the kind of area I like seeing preserved. The trees gobble up carbon dioxide and it is a really nice piece of land. There isn’t a lot of areas like that on the Island that are accessible to the public. So much of Manitoulin Island is private.”

Dr. Jeffery explained that the municipality has developed biking trails and cross-country trails and he was approached to allow the trails to extend onto his property. “I was happy to let them do that, and then I got to thinking about it and I thought ‘why don’t I just donate the property?’” he said. “The EBC will cover the insurance for the people using the cross-country ski trails, so why not? It accomplishes what I originally set out to do.”

The donated property leads right from the very start of New England Road, explained Dr. Jeffery, between the Fossil Hill property owned by the EBC.