gould lake conservation area

Cataraqui Conservation and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network (FABN) are pleased to announce that eight properties representing 1,982 hectares of environmentally significant lands owned by Cataraqui Conservation and located throughout the Cataraqui watershed on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabek peoples, were recently found to meet the pan-Canadian standards as Protected Areas.

The newly recognized Protected Areas include publicly accessible areas: Gould Lake Conservation Area, Lyn Valley Conservation Area, and Mac Johnson Wildlife Area, and five ecological properties that are not publicly accessible. All eight locations are located within the UNESCO Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region, which is recognized globally for its exceptional natural and cultural value.

Cataraqui Conservation is pleased to see its valued and long-standing partnership with the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network come to such an important result. “The recognition of these properties as Protected Areas is the result of hard work and co-operation from both organizations, municipalities and community stakeholders” said Tom Beaubiah, Manager, Conservation Lands for Cataraqui Conservation. Earning Protected Status recognizes these lands are important habitats for plant and animal life.

Protected Area status was made possible through an ongoing collaboration between Cataraqui Conservation and FABN, as well as generous funding support from Kawartha Credit Union and the City of Brockville. In 2022, FABN received funds from Environment and Climate Change Canada to work with local conservation groups to assess and report areas meeting the pan-Canadian standards to count towards Canada’s biodiversity targets. The most recent targets include the international commitment to protect 30% of land and water by 2030 in Canada, or “30x30”.

Protected Areas within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region provide critical support to a variety of species at risk of extinction. This is vital habitat for Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentine), Blanding's Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii), Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra), Eastern Pondmussel (Ligumia nasuta), and many others.

“For decades, Cataraqui Conservation has been doing critical work to protect waters and vulnerable habitats in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region. We are very pleased that these contributions to biodiversity conservation have now achieved the international recognition they deserve," says Christine Grossutti, Conservation Project Manager at FABN.

FABN is currently seeking new areas to assess, such as lands owned by municipalities that benefit wildlife in the long term. Municipalities and other organizations are encouraged to contact FABN if they have sites that they feel would be eligible for assessment. A full list of all Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas can be seen in the online map.


About Cataraqui Conservation is a community-based environmental protection and advisory agency, created in 1964 by the Province of Ontario at the request of municipalities within the Cataraqui Region Watershed. Cataraqui Conservation offers programs and services on a watershed scale that focus on natural hazard management, source water protection, land conservation, outdoor recreation, education, monitoring, and community stewardship.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network is a not-for-profit organization who contributes to strengthening sustainable community development, celebrating the interconnectedness of nature, livelihood, well-being and culture, for this and future generations.

This information was jointly released by Cataraqui Conservation and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere.