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Natural Heritage

Natural Heritage resources include environmental features and functions such as wetlands, woodlands, valleylands, wildlife habitat, and the habitat of endangered and threatened species.

The Township of Adjala-Tosorontio contains significant natural heritage features and land forms such as the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Borden Sand Plain and the valley lands of Bailey Creek, Sheldon Creek, Mad River, Pine River, Boyne River and the Nottawasaga River.1044126_609429035748414_2023614695_n-jpg-2016-11-26-11-28-42


Provincial & County Policy

The Provincial Policy Statement and the County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies provide direction on specific issues. The Township Official Plan policies must conform to the PPS and County Official Plan, which set out the following policies:

Long Term Protection

Natural heritage features and areas shall be protected for the long-term and shall be identified.

The important links between and among natural heritage features, surface water features, and ground water features are to be recognized. The diversity and connectivity of natural features and their ecological function should be maintained, restored, and, where possible, improved.

Development Restrictions

Development and site alteration is not permitted in significant wetlands.

In addition, development and site alteration are not permitted in significant woodlands, significant valley lands, significant wildlife habitat, and significant areas of natural and scientific interests unless no negative impacts to the feature and ecological function can be demonstrated.

Development and site alteration in fish habitat, or the habitat of endangered species, is not permitted except in accordance with provincial or federal requirements.

Adjacent Lands

Development and site alteration is not permitted on lands adjacent to natural heritage features, unless the ecological function of the adjacent lands has been evaluated and no negative impact has been demonstrated.

Existing Policy & Legislation

  • Provincial Policy Statement 2014
  • County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies
  • Natural Heritage Reference Manual

Current Township Policies

The current Official Plan includes an “overlay designation” for Natural Heritage Features. New Official Plan policies will be based on updated mapping and will require that there be no negative impact to natural features or their ecological function from development or site alteration.

Section 4.1.2 of the Current Official Plan contains policies for Conservation, Hazard, and Natural Heritage Lands. Current Official Plan policies:

  • Identify the need for a Natural Heritage Plan.
  • Identify certain areas of the Township as environmental features.
  • Direct development away from environmental features and require that the construction of any buildings or structures must protect the environment.
  • Require certain lands to be zoned for conservation use only.
  • Do not allow development on some lands with identified environmental features.
  • Require Environmental Impact Studies for some developments.

The updated Official Plan will ensure the long-term protection of the Township’s natural heritage values. Significant natural heritage features will be preserved, maintained, and improved.

Your ideas and vision are important!

What changes would you like to see?

  • Do you think that the existing Natural Heritage policies are sufficient?
  • What features should be protected from development?
  • What areas of the Township have a high Natural Heritage importance and value?
  • Biodiversity offsetting can be used as a strategy to compensate for the loss of a natural feature, through the creation of a new natural feature at another location. Should the Township utilize this strategy?
  • Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.