So much has been happening in our efforts to protect the South Shore IBA, I hardly know where to start! First of all, COVID-19 has not slowed us down. The Board and strategy team have had more Zoom meetings than I can count.
Main initiatives we are pursuing:
Conservation Reserves. We have received grant money from three Foundations to pursue designation of the Ostrander Point Crown Land Block and the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area as Provincial Conservation Reserves. Conservation Reserves have a special place in Ontario’s hierarchy of protected places. Each one has a customized management plan which prescribes permitted and not allowed activities. These plans are formulated based on a thorough public consultation process.
Consequently, we have been able to hire an organizer, Megan Miller, and a communications specialist, Dawn Ayer, have upgraded our website, and mounted a media campaign for the Conservation Reserves on Facebook and Instagram – as well as a focused letter writing campaign.
Meetings have been held with our MPP, Todd Smith, who is hugely supportive, and we have the support of Prince Edward County as well as our federal MP Neil Ellis.
With the help of the Foundations and Nature Canada, discussions have progressed with the Province to the point that we are hopeful for at least a statement of intent to create the Conservation Reserves before the weather turns to winter! Your expression of support is still needed! If you haven’t written to the Ministers, go to our website – it’s easy.
Education and Appreciation
We are continuing our program of adventures in the South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. For a list of upcoming South Shore Events see Page 1 as well as Flight of the Monarch Day on Page 3 featuring Terry Sprague and Peter Fuller. You can learn more about upcoming South Shore events and RSVP on our website.
Advocacy and Planning
We will continue our series of fall sessions with a workshop, likely in October, to seek views from as many segments of the public as possible about what the Management Plans for our Conservation Reserves should look like. Stay tuned for details. We want to be in a position to provide quality advice to the provincial government as soon as they initiate the designation process. Find more information about Conservation Reserves on our website.
Cultural and Built Heritage
We have leased the Moses Hudgin Log House in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Hudgin-Rose Nature Reserve and established a restoration committee to raise funds and undertake the work to restore the house and make it usable as a naturalist field centre.
Full details of all these initiatives and more can be found on our website where you can get informed, sign up for SSJI membership, perhaps volunteer to help, or simply make a donation!!
See you on the South Shore!!
John Hirsch, President, South Shore Joint Initiative
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