Submission to the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review
Environmental Registry #012-3256
The Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club is a local membership group of Ontario Nature. Our membership consists of residents from Halton Hills, Brampton and other communities in Halton and Peel Regions.
We are strongly in favour of maintaining the current legislation protecting the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Niagara Escarpment and the Greenbelt. An initiative to expand the Greenbelt would also be supported by our group.
The Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club is favourably located in a region that includes the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Greenbelt. Our membership has benefited greatly from government policy protecting these land uses. The Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine enrich our lives. We hike in these areas frequently, engaging in nature study, photography and environmental activities.
It is crucial, in a region that continues to grow rapidly in population, that strong measures are in place to manage that growth. The Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine offer priceless assets to the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Water filtration and groundwater storage is one such extremely important asset. Other assets include the recreational opportunities that the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine offer – opportunities that will become even more important as our population grows.
Maintaining and expanding the current boundaries of the Greenbelt ensures that farms will continue to be able to operate close to our urban centres. This has manifest benefits, including the production of local food, the maintenance of family farms and the avoidance of the greenhouse gases and carbon emissions associated with the long-distance transport of food.
As a naturalist club we also advocate for the wildlife that lives on these landscapes. In this era of extinction, and relentless diminishment of wildlife habitat, we have a responsibility to ensure that we protect what remains. The Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine provide important habitat for species at risk such as Jefferson Salamanders, Bobolinks, Meadowlarks and Monarch Butterflies.
The Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club strongly endorses the protection of these species and the enhancement of their habitats. We also support efforts to build and strengthen linkages between existing natural lands, allowing the natural movement of animals and plants. Adding protected land to the Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine would help accomplish this.
Please add the voice of our club to the chorus of voices speaking out in support of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Niagara Escarpment and the Greenbelt. These land use plans protect a precious natural and cultural heritage that is crucially important to the future of Ontarians.
Vice President Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club