Criteria, methods, and mapping of the proposed regional Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe

ERO number
013-1014
Notice type
Policy
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
July 6, 2017 - October 6, 2017 (92 days) Closed

This consultation was open from:
July 6, 2017
to October 6, 2017

Decision summary

We finalized criteria, methods and mapping for the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan area for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This supports the Growth Plan and promotes landscape level management to reverse the trend of habitat loss in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Decision details

Description of policy

A decision was made on February 9, 2018 to proceed with the proposed criteria, methods and mapping of the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe as described, subject to changes made below as a result of feedback received during the public consultation.

In support of the policies of the Growth Plan 2017, Ontario has mapped a provincially-led Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (hereafter referred to as the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan), including criteria, methods and a regional Natural Heritage System map.

Habitat loss and fragmentation are key concerns in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan promotes landscape level management and seeks to reverse this trend over time.

The Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan is made up of natural heritage features and areas (core areas) linked by natural corridors (linkages) to maintain biological and geological diversity, natural functions, and viable populations of indigenous species and ecosystems.

The Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan principles are defined (e.g. regional scale, defendable, repeatable) and criteria and methodology are clearly established and were part of the public and stakeholder consultation and Indigenous engagement.

The proposed regional Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan was posted on the Environmental Registry for a 92-day review period from July 6th 2017 to October 6th, 2017. As well, a series of Indigenous and stakeholder engagement sessions and public open houses were held during the posting period to gather input.

A PDF of the Regional Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe: Summary of Criteria and Methods document can be found here.

To view the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan mapping on an online viewer, use the Make A Map: Natural Heritage Areas application

To download GIS data and download the technical methodology document, go to Land Information Ontario.

Comments received

Through the registry

71

By email

15

By mail

40
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Comments received on the proposal

Public Consultation on the proposal for this decision was provided for 92 days, from July 6th, 2017 until October 6th 2017.

As a result of public consultation on the proposed criteria, methods and mapping for the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry received a total of 111 unique comments: 21 comments were received in writing, 46 comments were received via email and 71 were received online via the Environmental Registry, which includes 6 duplicate submissions and 21 submissions that referred to submissions sent by hard copy or email. Comments were also submitted as a form letter as part of an organized letter writing campaign, in total 2,359 such form letters were received.

Effects of consultation on this decision

The purpose of the Environmental Registry posting, public and stakeholder consultation sessions, and Indigenous engagement sessions was to present information on the proposed criteria, methods and mapping for the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan, as well as provide opportunity for participants to offer feedback.

Municipal, stakeholder (Environmental Non-Government Organizations, Conservation Authorities, Development and Aggregate Industries and Agriculture) and public comments received in response to the proposal were generally supportive of the principles for the natural heritage system, which were established to provide context for the technical criteria as well as to guide methodology. Most sectors demonstrated an interest in protecting natural heritage.

Engagement sessions with Indigenous communities were also generally supportive of both the principles and the criteria, methods and mapping for the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan. Interest was expressed in continuing dialogue regarding the protection of natural heritage and natural heritage systems.

Municipal and stakeholder comments that were submitted regarding the criteria, methods and mapping were divided, and no clear consensus was supported. MNRF received suggested changes that would increase the size of the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan (e.g., smaller core area minimum size, larger linkages, include local Natural Heritage System's), as well as comments that suggested changes that would decrease the size of the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan (e.g., narrower linkages, remove lands from Natural Heritage System ).

MNRF was requested to provide finer-scale mapping and data (GIS shapefiles) during consultation and engagement. As a result of these requests, MNRF released an online map viewer which displayed the Proposed Regional Natural Heritage System. Additionally, requests were submitted which asked MNRF to use current, finer-scale data. In response to these requests, MNRF reviewed finer-scale data (e.g., woodlands and wetlands) that were provided by conservation authorities. These data were included in the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan where they provided more accurate or current information than the provincial data used in the mapping.

MNRF also received requests for both regional and site specific removals and additions to the NHS for the Growth Plan, and have reviewed those requests and incorporated those revisions where they were consistent with the principles and criteria of the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan.

As a result of consultation and feedback received, the final map shows the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan across the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe outside the Greenbelt area. As per policy 4.2.2 of the Growth Plan, the Natural Heritage System for the Growth Plan does not apply to lands within settlement area boundaries that were approved and in effect as of July 1, 2017. For the precise boundaries and locations of settlement areas the appropriate municipalities should be consulted.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

You can view supporting materials in person. Some are not available online because of ownership rights or for accessibility reasons.

Get in touch with the contact person listed below to find out what materials are available.

You can view them in person at these locations:

Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch
Address

300 Water Street
Peterborough ON K9J 8M5
Canada

Office phone number

Connect with us

Contact

Tyler Annand

Office
Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch
Address

300 Water Street
Peterborough ON K9J 8M5
Canada

Office phone number

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Follow this notice

Original proposal

ERO number
013-1014
Notice type
Policy
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Proposal posted

Comment period

July 6, 2017 - October 6, 2017 (92 days)

Proposal details

Updates

This notice was first published on July 6, 2017. This notice was re-published on October 5, 2017 to extend the comment period to October 6, 2017, due to technical difficulties. Comments that have already been submitted do not need to be resubmitted.

This notice was republished on August 31, 2017 to include a link to a map viewer that displays the Proposed Regional Natural Heritage System. The link for the map viewer is located below in the Other Information section of the ER posting.

Description of policy

Natural heritage policies for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) were reviewed as part of Ontario’s Coordinated Land Use Planning Review. During the public consultation for the coordinated land use planning review, the government announced that the province would lead the development and mapping of a Natural Heritage System (NHS) for the Growth Plan for the GGH beyond the Greenbelt Plans.

Natural Heritage Systems are made up of natural heritage features and areas (core areas) linked by natural corridors (linkages) to maintain biological and geological diversity, natural functions, and viable populations of indigenous species and ecosystems. The mapping of NHSs is particularly important in landscapes that have high fragmentation and habitat loss, such as the GGH.

Criteria and methods were developed to create a regional landscape NHS under the leadership of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry with preliminary technical input provided by staff at several key ministries including the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Purpose of policy

The purpose of this proposal is to provide a summary of the criteria and methods and a map of the draft Natural Heritage System developed by the MNRF for the Growth Plan for the GGH for consultation.

Other information

For more information on the review and to view the policies and geographic area covered by the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017, visit the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review website.

A map viewer that displays the Proposed Regional Natural Heritage System associated with the EBR 013-1014

Public consultation

This proposal was posted for a 92 day public review and comment period starting July 06, 2017. Comments were to be received by October 06, 2017.

All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.

Other public consultation opportunities

This proposal has been posted for a 92 day public review and comment period starting July 6, 2017. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by October 6, 2017 to the individual listed under Contact. Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line.

All comments received prior to October 6, 2017 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 013-1014.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. Comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.

Your personal information may be used in the decision making process on this proposal and it may be used to contact you if clarification of your comment is required. It may be shared (along with your comment) with other Ontario Ministries for use in the decision making process. Questions about this collection should be directed to the contact mentioned on the Proposal Notice page.

Stakeholders, including Indigenous Communities, will receive direct (mail and email) notification of the opportunity to consult on criteria, methods and draft mapping of the NHS for the Growth Plan for the GGH. Opportunities will be available to provide comments on the Environmental Registry for 92 days, with the final day for the submission of comments being October 6, 2017.

Three facilitated regional technical sessions will occur during the Environmental Registry posting on the proposed criteria and draft map. These sessions will discuss the technical components of the NHS and the Agricultural System in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Facilitated listening sessions will occur with Indigenous Communities to also discuss the technical components of the NHS (in collaboration with OMAFRA).

Other meetings and/or listening sessions may occur as requested or required throughout the consultation period.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

You can view supporting materials in person. Some are not available online because of ownership rights or for accessibility reasons.

Get in touch with the contact person listed below to find out what materials are available.

You can view them in person at these locations:

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from July 6, 2017
to October 6, 2017

Connect with us

Contact

Ala Boyd

Phone number
Office
Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch
Address

300 Water Street
Peterborough ON K9J 8M5
Canada

Office phone number