The Canadian Museum of Nature annually recognizes individuals and organizations that, through their work or specific projects, encourage Canadians to take an interest in natural history, create links with nature and contribute to its preservation. Howard Clifford is one of five from across Canada whose outstanding accomplishments have earned them a place on the short list for a Nature Inspiration Award. The winner will be announced at a Gala at the Museum of Nature on November 8. The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) is delighted with this national recognition of the contributions Howard has made and continues to make in support of conservation of important natural spaces as a healing backdrop for community health.
Deeply committed to preserving its natural heritage, in 2009 Howard and his family placed a Conservation Easement on their property cliffLAND with MMLT. This provides legal protection in perpetuity, conserving the property as a wilderness sanctuary. It is the second largest legally protected area in Lanark County, exceeded only by Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. Blueberry Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the county, and has been named one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County. The lookout on Blueberry Mountain attracts over 1,000 visitors per year, many of them international.
cliffLAND is a place where the forests will be allowed to develop and mature into old growth, where logging, hunting, trapping, and the recreational use of motorized vehicles is prohibited. While cliffLAND’s protection is motivated by a personal commitment to and love of nature, the Clifford family has also mandated that the wilderness remain accessible to the public as a healing backdrop to meet the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual needs of people. In addition to supporting local communities in this way, evidence points to authentic nature experiences as the bedrock of a culture of long-term support for conservation and biodiversity, and Howard takes a long-term view.
Howard has been President of MMLT for seven years. Under his leadership, the small organization was grown in reputation and depth as a well-governed and innovative charity.