The Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) has reviewed the proposed expansion of the Natural Heritage System as part of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) and is fully supportive of the proposed changes. The policies and mandate of the BTC are to create a conservation corridor along the Niagara Escarpment that contains a public footpath. In order to realize this vision the BTC is actively acquiring land along the Niagara Escarpment through ongoing fundraising. These efforts are consistent with the goals of the proposed expansion in that they seek to protect and enhance natural corridors and core natural areas while also providing sustainable, controlled public access to natural areas, which in this case is to a provincially designated Trail of Distinction, the Bruce Trail.
Section 4.2.5 of the Growth Plan for the GGH indicates that:
“Municipalities, conservation authorities, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties are encouraged to develop a system of publicly-accessible parkland, open space, and trails, including in shoreline areas, within the GGH that:
a)Clearly demarcates where public access is and is not permitted;
b)Is based on a co-ordinated approach to trail planning and development; and
c)Is based on good land stewardship practices for public and private lands.”
These goals are consistent with those of the BTC. The Bruce Trail is clearly demarcated and the BTC is very active in enforcing strict adherence to controlled trail access, while working with numerous partners in a co-operative fashion to ensure public and private support and environmental sustainability. The BTC also has a well-developed Land Stewardship Program that actively manages conservation land under the organization’s care in order to preserve and enhance biodiversity and protect valuable natural areas.
We see the BTC as being an important player in the expansion of the NHS and look forward to working collaboratively with municipalities and the province in order to continue to protect Ontario’s valuable natural heritage features.
[Original Comment ID: 211003]
Submitted February 12, 2018 11:08 AM