The Nipigon River Mouth Nature Reserve
Our First Nature Reserve
In the mid 1970's the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists Club received unexpectedly a lump sum of money through the will of a generous member, Mr. Pallington. The will stipulated that the money was to be spent on acquisition of conservation land. The money enabled the club to start a "Land Acquisition" bank account.
In January of 1994 the Club purchased it's first nature reserve (red dot on map below). The 320 acre reserve is located on the east side of the Nipigon River south of Nipigon, near where the river enters Lake Superior. The legal description is Lot 8 and Lot 9, Concession 1, Township of Nipigon. The purchase price of the property was $47,452, of which $9,852 came from the Land Acquisition Fund and $37,200 from Ontario Heritage Foundation's "Natural Heritage Challenge Program".
The property includes a wetland area along the shore of the Nipigon River, and some high cliffs that rise dramatically straight up from the water. The property is forested with mature second growth mixed forest.There are two features that made protection of this property particularly important: pictographs and peregrines. The Nipigon Bay Pictograph site is the second largest on Lake Superior and is of provincial significance. There is no road access to the property.
Nature Reserve Expands in 1999
On December 15, 1999 TBFN purchased two new properties adjacent to the Nipigon River Mouth Nature Reserve. At the November 1999 meeting the membership voted to purchase Con. 1 West Part Lot 10 MR7 Nipigon (37,55 acres) for $10,000 and Con. 1 East part Lot 10 MR6 Nipigon (182 acres) for $13,500. The new properties are strategically positioned adjacent to the original reserve, as well as the new Ruby Lake Provincial Park. The two properties were under threat of development and logging as a private road and cottages were being built on the adjacent part of Lot 10 following a zoning change announced in late September 1999. With these purchases the Nipigon River Mouth Nature Reserve now totals 540 acres.
The newly purchased properties include a variety of habitats: a large wetland area at the Nipigon River mouth, a beaver meadow and several streams, a cedar swamp with hundreds of Yellow Ladyslippers, a high cliff with freestanding rock columns and extensive talus slope, plus many acres of mature forest.
Magnificent scenery at the Nipigon River Mouth Nature Reserve