Council to consider preferred option for Natural Heritage System Plan at July 22 meeting

Cobourg, ON – July 17, 2020 – County Council will consider the preferred option for a Natural Heritage System (NHS) Plan on July 22. Required under provincial legislation, the NHS will preserve and enhance areas such as wetlands, woodlands and watercourses that have been identified as significant natural features.

“Over the past three years, County staff has been working with our consultant team from North-South Environmental Incorporated to develop an NHS that best meets the needs of Northumberland,” states County Land Use Planning & Inspection Services Manager Dwayne Campbell. “After much consideration of best practices, provincial requirements and based on extensive consultations with staff, stakeholders, residents, and property owners, the Enhanced option has been identified as best fulfilling the objectives for a Northumberland NHS. This option is the most robust, conservation-forward system of the three proposed options, and this approach will ensure we protect the County’s unique natural features and ecosystems for future generations.”

In 2019, Northumberland County developed three increasingly robust options for a Natural Heritage System (basic, comprehensive and enhanced), based on minimum requirements identified by the province and input gathered during public consultations in 2018. These three options were presented to the public for feedback during public engagement sessions in 2019, and were presented in an online interactive map in 2020, which indicated the areas incorporated under each option.

Once implemented, the NHS plan will result in amendments to the County’s Official Plan, including the establishment of a new Natural Heritage Area designation that will apply to properties with key natural heritage features.

For more information about the Natural Heritage System Plan, and to review the full NHS report, please visit Northumberland.ca/NHS. Residents can live stream the upcoming meeting of County Council on July 22 at 9:30 a.m. by visiting Youtube.com/CountyNorthumberland.

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