SAM Member Since: October 1997
Acres Protected: 1,088
The community of Winterland is nestled on the Burin Peninsula of southeastern Newfoundland. The community sprung up as a result of a Government Land Settlement Program in 1939, a program designed to relocate fisher people from traditional outport communities and people from urban centres to reduce the strain on local fish stocks and the stress on a people plunged into poverty. Winterland persisted as a predominantly agricultural-based community and has endured as the only truly inland community on the Burin Peninsula. Winterland has a population of approximately 340 residents, many of whom stem from the original families of the land resettlement program of 1939 and still engage in agricultural practices.
The Winterland Conservation Area consists of three wetland types: bog, fen and marsh. Bogs make up the majority of the area, but more productive marshes and fens are interspersed through the northern part of the area. Bogs are low in mineral content which leads to minimal plant productivity. However, these low nutrient areas do produce ericaceous shrubs including blueberries, cranberries, crowberries and sheep laurel, which many waterfowl take advantage of for food. Fens are also present in the Conservation Area. Fen development depends on the constant movement of nutrient-rich seepage water through coniferous forests, from low-lying open areas or from brooks and small streams. Of all the wetlands in Winterland's conservation area, marshes support the greatest number of flora and fauna. Marshes in Winterland support populations of brook trout and banded killifish (a species of special concern under the federal Species at Risk Act). On the Burin Peninsula, a marsh serves much like an oasis for wildlife species and should be valued as such. Wetland complexes like those occuring here in Winterland - with a mixture of marshes, fens and bogs - mean that seasonal resources are provided to local waterfowl at various life stages, satisfying specific needs throughout the year.