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Natural Heritage Systems Planning

Grey County farm; Noah Cole

The issue

Strong natural heritage systems protection is necessary to maintain and enhance long-term quality of life, environmental health, ecological integrity and economic prosperity in the region. These systems made up of core natural areas and natural linkages, support wildlife movement and natural processes necessary to maintain biological diversity, natural functions, and ecosystems.

Among a number of significant revisions to Ontario’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2017 was a requirement for the Government of Ontario to map a regional natural heritage system for the GGH.

Bullfrog © Brad Thompson

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Photo by: Joe Mabel

In July 2017, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released a draft of the proposed natural heritage system for public review. The Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership – including Ontario Nature, EcoSpark, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition (STORM) and Earthroots – has identified several areas for improving the regional natural heritage system for the GGH.

  • More refined mapping criteria and better integration of important regional variations
  • More meaningful opportunities for community involvement
  • Enhanced landscape connectivity
Oak Ridges Moraine © Kim Lowes

See our full recommendations on the criteria, methods, and mapping of the proposed Natural Heritage System for the GGH.

These key areas for improvement will help ensure that the regional NHS addresses biodiversity loss and the uncertainties of climate change so we have clean air, clean water and a rich diversity of plant and animal life to sustain present and future generations.

Photo by: John Czenke

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