Earlier in 2017 there were a series of workshops held across southern Ontario to provide guidance on natural heritage system planning. The goal of these workshops was to provide information to land use planners and others involved in land use planning as it relates to the identification, protection and management of natural heritage systems.
These workshops were held in Peterborough, Parry Sound, London and Toronto. They were a joint effort of the Environment and Climate Change Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service and Ontario Nature delivered in partnership with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute , Skelton, Brumwell and Associates Inc. and Krystawyn.
Topics covered at the workshops included a natural heritage policy update and the Ontario Nature Natural Heritage Planning Best Practices Manual. The Canadian Wildlife Service also provided information about their How Much Habitat is Enough? and How Much Development is Too Much? guidelines. A highlight at the workshops was the release of the Canadian Wildlife Service Biodiversity Atlas. The atlas products provide a geospatial representation of the Canadian Wildlife Service biodiversity portfolio: species richness, migratory bird densities, habitat extent & quality. They were created to better see and understand the distribution of species and habitats, share information with others, and help facilitate the conservation of important natural places by provide guidance on places of high biodiversity value.
There was also a presentation highlighting the diversity of tools available to planners in the development of policies and programs to identify and protect natural heritage systems including a variety of citizen science applications to engage the public (e.g. Ontario Nature Citizen Science Directory, iNaturalist).
Information from the workshops and a copy of the presentations can be obtained from the following links:
Part 1 Natural Heritage Policy Update
Part 2 Natural Heritage Systems Planning Best Practices Guide
Ontario Nature Presentation – Natural Heritage Systems
Canadian Wildlife Service Presentations
Part 3 Other Tools
Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve Presentation
Kawarthas, Naturally Connected Presentation