• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

LETTER: There is a way to protect vital local farmland

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In Agriculture
Jul 26th, 2022
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Douglas and Bourgeois Farm is now protected from non-agricultural development. |

From OrilliaMatters, July 23, 2022
A Letter to the Editor

This letter from Mike Douglas highlights the environmental benefits of working with provincial agencies to permanently protect local farms from non-agricultural development.

In Simcoe County lies the 98-acre Douglas and Bourgeois Farm, now permanently protected with one of Ontario Farmland Trust’s (OFT) Conservation Easement Agreements. This adds to OFT’s number of protected Ontario farms, and one more farm protected from non-agricultural development in Simcoe County.

The agricultural soils on this farm are vital non-renewable resources that have been used for row crop sand pasturing of livestock for many years. There is also a significant amount of natural habitat on the property that is used regularly by wildlife, including species at risk.

A large wetland provides a home for beavers, turtles, and many species of birds, while monarchs make use of  this property for breeding and foraging. In addition to the wildlife that calls this farm home, the wildlife in the surrounding area use this property as a corridor to move from one patch of habitat to the next. White-tailed deer, coyotes, moose, and black bears have all been observed using the farm to move around the countryside.

The very capable folks with Ontario Farmland Trust are adept at streamlining the process of completing the various steps of the Conservation Easement Agreement and associated Ecogift through Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The Conservation Easement Agreement process involving the initial visit from Ontario Farmland Trust, Ecogift application, land survey and appraisal was accomplished over about a year and a half.

The landowners know that this farm is an integral part of the local agricultural and natural system. In contrast, they have seen other farmland in the area lost forever to aggregate mining, as well as other non-agricultural ventures, and they wanted to ensure that the farmland on their property would remain available in the long term for both agriculture and wildlife.

The agreement will ensure that the farmland is never lost to non-agricultural development, and the current landowners are happy to have protected the agricultural soil and natural habitat on their farm to benefit future generations.

Please take a moment to investigate the opportunity to protect farmland and environmentally sensitive properties.

Mike Douglas
Ramara Township

Read the article here

Ontario Farmland Trust website: https://ontariofarmlandtrust.ca

One Response to “LETTER: There is a way to protect vital local farmland”

  1. H Levinter says:

    Wetlands are a very important part of our ecosystem for absorbing rainfall, absorbing carbon, providing corridors for wildlife and providing habitat for wildlife.
    Do not destroy our wetlands. Once they are gone, they are gone forever and humanity suffers.

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