SNC’s Forest Cover Analysis Confirms Need for More Tree Planting and Forested Land Preservation
South Nation Conservation (SNC) has been in the business of forest management and tree planting since they were created almost 70 years ago. SNC recently completed an intensive analysis of forest cover in their jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario, which revealed an alarming average of 1 million trees being lost per year.
SNC has planted an impressive 2.8 million trees since 1990 and manages 20,000 acres of forested land, including land owned by the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry; however, additional efforts are required to offset the current annual tree loss.
Development and land conversion to sustain increased populations and expanded agricultural production in Eastern Ontario is impacting the presence of forest cover and its ecological benefits for a healthy environment. Environment and Climate Change Canada recommends a minimum of 30% forest cover to sustain marginally healthy aquatic systems and half of the potential species richness in the region; 40% and 50% forest cover benchmarks are noted to be better approaches to support a healthy environment. Aerial images revealed SNC’s jurisdiction was at 28.1% forest cover in 2014.
SNC’s report entitled “2016 Forest Cover and Trends Analysis” highlights changes in forest cover by region, municipality and soil topography. The report is now available online and hopes to be used to guide future policy, programming and stewardship decisions by SNC and its partner municipalities.
“90% of the land in SNC’s jurisdiction is under private ownership, which is why SNC offers several forestry programs to our residents,” said John Mesman, SNC’s Acting Team Lead, Communication and Outreach. SNC programs available to residents are: Woodlot Advisory Services, Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program, and Tree Planting Program. Residents can contact SNC to learn more about how they can benefit from these programs.
Every year, approximately 50 acres of land is donated to SNC. Residents interested in leaving a natural heritage legacy are encouraged to contact SNC, which is a member of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance. The Reveler Conservation Area in Crysler is an example of a recent land donation, which is available for the public to explore and enjoy.
“More work needs to be done to highlight the important ecological benefits of our forests,” Mesman observed.
SNC will continue to work with property owners, municipalities, and partners to effectively address the issues impacting local forest cover. Visit http://www.nation.on.ca/resources/science-research/technical-reports to view the full Forest Cover Analysis report.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: John Mesman, 877-984-2948, ext. 302 firstname.lastname@example.org.