Tree stand

The Glengarry News - - News -

The Raisin Re­gion Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity is adding its voice to the grow­ing cho­rus of protest against the im­pend­ing clo­sure of the On­tario Tree Seed Plant near Bar­rie.

Not­ing the clo­sure would di­rectly af­fect the agency’s tree seedling and re-forestry pro­grams, the RRCA will be ex­press­ing its con­cerns through a let­ter to the prov­ince and post­ing a petition on its so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

Over 10,000 peo­ple have signed an on­line petition against the clo­sure of the fa­cil­ity. The cam­paign was launched by a coali­tion af­ter an Au­gust, 2017 an­nounce­ment by the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry that the plant would be shut down in Septem­ber 2018.

But the stand has so far been fu­tile. The coali­tion has had lim­ited re­sponse to these rec­om­men­da­tions and MNRF is pro­ceed­ing

with its plans to empty out the seed bank be­gin­ning in late Novem­ber. Lo­cated in An­gus, west of Bar­rie, since 1923, the OTSP is home to ex­pert pro­cess­ing and storage of bil­lions of tree seed. The OTSP and its pub­lic seed bank pro­vide ge­net­i­cally ap­pro­pri­ate seed for re­for­esta­tion on On­tario’s Crown land, and for ini­tia­tives such as the 50 Mil­lion Tree Pro­gram and the Tree Seedling Pro­gram. In ad­di­tion, the OTSP of­fers an open ser­vice avail­able to all On­tar­i­ans, from landown­ers to school groups to grow­ers, to purchase a va­ri­ety of na­tive species’ seeds at a rea­son­able cost for any project.

Coali­tion mem­bers have been ask­ing that prov­ince to work with the seed coali­tion and other stake­hold­ers to de­velop a tran­si­tion plan to en­sure con­tin­u­a­tion of the crit­i­cal ser­vices pro­vided by the OTSP be­yond the Septem­ber 2018 dead­line.

The group is also seek­ing as­sur­ances that “the chain-of-cus­tody for seed in On­tario is not dis­rupted in the tran­si­tion process,” that there will be a con­tin­u­ous sup­ply of bi­o­log­i­cally ap­pro­pri­ate seed, so On­tario’s re­for­esta­tion and af­foresta­tion prac­ti­tion­ers can re­act and adapt to a chang­ing cli­mate.

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