Part of Austin's Millington Bog protected in perpetuity

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Part of Austin’s Millington Bog protected in perpetuity

Peatlands are environments rich in biodiversity. (File photo)

A new territory of 34 hectares will be protected in the municipality of Austin. A section of Millington Bog, the size of 63 American football fields, was acquired by Serpentine Valleys Conservancy (CVS) for protection in perpetuity.

Approx. $150,000, provided by several donors, was needed to acquire this parcel of land.

This is a project for which work had already begun in 2015, explains the general manager of Appalachian Corridor, Mélanie Lelièvre. We had met the owners a few times and initiated the conservation project. At that time they were not ripe. We put the project on hold. And a year and a half ago, they said they were ready to move forward with a sale.

No infrastructure can be built on this land, confirms Mélanie Lelièvre. However, as the only access to the land is near the residence of the former owners, it will not be possible to lay out trails for hiking either. However, in the future, we continue to look for opportunities in the area so that there are places dedicated to protection, but also a small stretch of path or a lookout point for people in the community to admire. the middle, she says.

According to the Appalachian Corridor and CVS organizations, this environment is home to several rare species, such as the bulbous arethusa orchid, as well as vulnerable species, such as the monarch butterfly, the northern dusky salamander and the marsh frog.

The endangered northern dusky salamander finds refuge in a stream in the new protected area.

In a press release, the organizations recall that peatlands are uncommon in the region and constitute natural environments rich in biodiversity, while being useful for the filtration and retention of water. There are rare plant species there, because it is an acid environment, explains Mélanie Lelièvre. In addition, it is a huge sponge that will retain water in the context of flooding, and which will gradually release this water in the context of drought. This will play an important role in the regulation and filtration of water. This retains sediments, pollutants, nutrients. […] This rejects clear, pure, quality water.

“There are very few peat bogs in the region, and that this, in addition, is very large. And there is an open water portion in the middle. It is truly spectacular. »

— Mélanie Lelièvre, General Manager of Appalachian Corridor

With the addition of this new territory, this increases the number of hectares of protected wetlands by Appalachian Corridor and CVS at 95.

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