Conservation Authorities and Bill 229
Recently, the provincial government made several changes to Ontario’s Conservation Authorities. These changes were included in Bill 229 as Schedule 6.
Conservation Authorities (CAs) work with farmers through specific programming to help farmers achieve their conservation goals. Often times, grants and incentives are a part of these programs, in order to help farmers and farmland owners cover the costs of implementing conservation practices. These programs vary throughout the province, but some areas in which they can help farmers include cover crops, erosion control, tree planting, habitat restoration, and wildlife conservation. To learn more about Ontario’s Conservation Authorities, click here.
OFT has partnered with a number of CAs both during and after our land protection process. CAs have been key partners in on-site restoration activities of forests, wetlands, and in headwater protection efforts on farms as well. Additionally, many landowners we work with also work with their local CAs individually on programs that promote habitat for species at risk, such as “bird-friendly haying” practices that protect at-risk grassland birds like the Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. CAs also bring on-the-ground expertise to OFT’s restoration efforts, and their work is highly valued by the rural landowners we work with.
Earlier in the year, OFT, along with over 100 other organizations, voiced support for Ontario’s CAs and stressed the importance of their conservation work. To read that letter, click here.
To read about the proposed changes contained in Schedule 6 of Bill 229, and their potential impacts, click here.