Con­ser­va­tion au­thor­ity wraps up a very pro­duc­tive year

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The past year was any­thing but dull for South Na­tion Con­ser­va­tion (SNC) as it con­tin­ued to work closely with its 16 mem­ber-mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, part­ners and res­i­dents to de­liver pro­grams, en­gage com­mu­ni­ties, ex­pand its pub­lic nat­u­ral spa­ces and of­fer greater re­cre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties across its 4,384square-kilo­me­tre juris­dic­tion in Eastern On­tario.

Ear­lier this year, SNC an­nounced that its re­cently ac­quired Oschmann For­est in North Dun­das would be­come the new home of its pop­u­lar Maple Syrup Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram start­ing next spring. The Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity has been work­ing to ren­der the for­est fit to demon­strate maple syrup pro­duc­tion to lo­cal stu­dents in the New Year for its 18th sea­son.

SNC con­tin­ued to em­power lo­cal youth through a va­ri­ety of ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams such as their Stream of Dreams pro­gram that takes place at schools and its sum­mer Youth Fish­ing Camps.

Ad­di­tion­ally, SNC un­veiled its Com­mu­nity Lands Geopass­port, guid­ing users through a real-life geo­caching ad­ven­ture within its Com­mu­nity Lands to learn more about the im­por­tant ben­e­fits of forests. SNC’s Con­ser­va­tion Ar­eas are ac­ces­si­ble free of charge and of­fer many re­cre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties; over 80,000 peo­ple en­joyed SNC’s Con­ser­va­tion Ar­eas in 2018.

The past year also saw the agency pub­lish a re­port ti­tled “Pro­tect­ing and In­creas­ing For­est Cover in the South Na­tion Con­ser­va­tion Juris­dic­tion” fol­low­ing two years of con­sul­ta­tion and re­view with lo­cal stake­holder work­ing groups. SNC has be­gun im­ple­ment­ing some rec­om­men­da­tions from the re­port; work with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties will con­tinue through 2019 to help mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties meet new Mu­nic­i­pal Act amend­ments for poli­cies on lo­cal for­est cover.

SNC planted over 127,000 trees across its juris­dic­tion in 2018, in­clud­ing the mile­stone achieve­ment of the au­thor­ity’s three mil­lionth tree planted since 1990.

In ad­di­tion to pro­tect­ing our nat­u­ral re­sources, SNC is con­tin­u­ously work­ing to pro­tect peo­ple and their prop­erty by up­dat­ing nat­u­ral haz­ard map­ping, is­su­ing ap­provals for de­vel­op­ment and en­hanc­ing emer­gency pre­pared­ness tools.

“This year of­fered great op­por­tu­ni­ties, part­ner­ships and ac­com­plish­ments, all of which were ben­e­fi­cial to pro­tect­ing and restor­ing our lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment,” ex­plains John Mes­man, SNC’s Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Lead.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to next year and all that it has to of­fer.”

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