Mike Dembeck

Newfoundland & Labrador

  • Number of Completed Projects (2014-2015)
  • 1
  • Acres Conserved
  • 158
  • Land Value
  • $560,000
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 95

Honouring Winston White

Winston White was a long-time NCC volunteer, serving for many years on the Atlantic Region’s Board of Directors.

He played a key role in helping to set up an office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay so we could start the Labrador Conservation Blueprint and Nature Atlas projects.

Sadly, Winston White passed away last June.

NCC celebrated his memory at three open houses in December of 2014. Each open house started with the playing of a poignant video tribute to Winston White. The video was produced by NCC and featured former Newfoundland and Labrador Premier and federal Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin. Tobin played an important role in raising funds for the Newfoundland and Labrador Nature Atlas.

The events were also an opportunity to officially launch the Newfoundland and Labrador Nature Atlas. Nearly 80 people braved temperatures of about -30 Celsius in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to attend an open house at the College of the North Atlantic. Two nights later, an enthusiastic group endured a snow squall to participate at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.

The third open house was held in St. John’s at Memorial University and it was particularly emotional. It was attended by Deborah White, Winston White’s spouse, along with their son Jacob.

Winston White was a well-known CBC broadcaster and public servant, having served as an aide to various provincial cabinet ministers. He was close to the land, having worked for many years as a guide, and is credited for first naming Labrador “The Big Land.” A prolific author, he wrote about the importance of conserving Labrador’s natural landscapes and habitats. He is remembered as a great storyteller who proudly promoted Labrador’s unique heritage and culture.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is honouring Winston White by donating sets of books to middle and high schools across Newfoundland and Labrador, in his memory.



NCC purchased 158 acres (64 hectares) of key forest and wetland along the Salmonier River located near Mt. Carmel-Mitchells Brook-St. Catherines on the Avalon Peninsula, not far from St. John’s.

The project was supported by Environment Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, the TD Bank Group through the TD Forests program and Bishops College High School. Students raised $5,000 as a legacy gift on the occasion of the school’s permanent closure.

NCC aims to protect habitat for wild Atlantic salmon, globally imperiled rare and endangered lichens and other animal and plant species.

NCC has begun Phase 2 of the Salmonier River Project, trying to acquire another 278 acres (112 hectares) that include intact boreal forest and freshwater habitat. The Salmonier River is a provincially-recognized salmon river. The threatened Avalon woodland caribou are known to also be in the area.

“The Salmonier River area is one of the few remaining locations with untouched forest on the Avalon Peninsula,” said Megan Lafferty, program director for NCC in Newfoundland and Labrador. “We are pleased to be building momentum in this area, with more people coming forward. It is a unique opportunity to protect an intact natural landscape in this region.”