The County of Peterborough, in collaboration with the City of Kawartha Lakes, MNRF, local Conservation Authorities and numerous NGO's, has worked collaboratively using MNRF's Marxan System to create a mapped Natural Heritage System for our area. Months of work went into this process and after the completion of mapping, it was also substantially "ground-truthed" by numerous organizations with expertise in biology The results of this collaborative effort are contained here: http://www.kawarthasnaturally.ca/ .
The new proposed NHS mapping which is subject to this EBR posting has essentially ignored the local work that was done and created a NHS system (in particular across the north section of Peterborough County) which is excessive and places an overwhelming burden on landowners. This is primarily a result of the 500 hectare core areas and excessive linkage widths which were applied as the baseline for this area of the GGH.
So what we have in reality, is a regionally defined NHS created by our collaborative...and then the Province is recommending a blanket approach and enveloping the entire area. If this had been done first and then our collaborative work following to refine the mapping then that would make a great deal of sense. However the Province's current approach is to ignore that refined mapping and simply blanket the area as part of the GGH NHS. Unfortunately this approach greatly fails in the south end of Peterborough County because the 500 hectare core areas are essentially non-existent as a result of agricultural operations. However our Regional collaborative NHS mapping identified many areas in the south end of the County that would be protected as a result of the Marxan exercise we undertook.
We note that in the western side of the GGH the Province took a different approach to the NHS mapping methodology with 100 hectare core areas being applied. The Province has shown that the approach to the NHS can in fact vary based on locational factors.
As a result we recommend that the Province modify the Growth Plan NHS mapping for Peterborough County and replace it with the Regional NHS mapping created by our local collaborative and as shown on the website noted above. This mapping will provide consistent protection to natural heritage features across our County and is already supported by the large number of participants which were party to its development.
If the Province is not supportive of this approach, then as a bare minimum, it should be acknowledged that the Provincial NHS will allow for scoped studies (based on its very broad mapping) and areas located within the accurately defined locally regional NHS will require a more fulsome EIS study regime to ensure protection of the identified features.
[Original Comment ID: 211007]
Submitted February 12, 2018 11:05 AM