Many non-profit organizations come into existence when a crisis affects their community, neighborhood, or a vulnerable segment of the population, thus providing a force powerful enough to motivate people who believe they can help. The Rainy Lake Conservancy is no exception. When a 300-acre, pristine island on Rainy Lake came up for development, nearby homeowners became concerned.

Island neighbors gathered to devise a way to preserve Goose Island, and from that process the idea of a conservation organization in northwestern Ontario was born. At the time, no such organization existed in Ontario between Sault Ste. Marie and the Manitoba border. It was an audacious idea that worked. Today Goose Island's ecosystem, its biodiversity and its natural habitat remain unspoiled.  Approximately two thirds of the island is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and managed by Ontario Parks with input from the Rainy Lake Conservancy.

In 1999 the Rainy Lake Conservancy became a nonprofit Canadian organization, and in 2001 the Conservancy received Canadian charitable status in the service of protecting Rainy Lake. The infant Rainy Lake Conservancy consisted of a few island owners with property near Goose Island. Since its early years, the Conservancy has embraced members from all over the Rainy Lake watershed: Americans and Canadians, property owners and non-property owners, year-round and seasonal residents, college students and retired folks, scientists and businessmen, even interested people who have no direct connection to the Rainy Lake area. Together we work to preserve and protect this beautiful watershed.

 A Short History of the Rainy Lake Conservancy: 1996 to 2020, highlighting some of its accomplishments, is available here: RLC History 1996-2020

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