An 89-square kilometre piece of property near Sudbury, Ont. has been bought by a group hoping to preserve a sand plain forest as it is.

cockburn island, ON

The parcel of land — located on Cockburn Island, off the western end of Manitoulin Island — has been bought by the Nature Conservancy of Canada from a lumber company.

Conservancy program manager John Grant said he wouldn't reveal the sale price, but not that, including staff time and legal fees, the deal is worth $14 million.

Grant said the Conservancy doesn't plan to do much with its new property "other than let it revert to become an old growth forest."

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada has just purchased 89 square kilometres of Cockburn Island near Sudbury, Ont. to preserve its forested lands. (Nature Conservancy of Canada)

The group hopes to preserve the forest and the rare plant species that come with it.

"The full complement of species that have come to us should be there for future generations," Grant said, adding the group will continue to allow access to the property for hunting and other activities.

The Nature Conservancy now owns about half of Cockburn Island, which has a few dozen camps, but no permanent residents.

Grant said the conservancy is interested in buying more property on Cockburn Island and also owns some land on Manitoulin Island.