Rick Whitteker, Haliburton Highlands Land Trust's Partners in Conservation (PIC) coordinator reports on his summer's activities and the status of the program:
"Through our Partners in Conservation (PIC) program the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) is also working closely with local landowners. The PIC program targets landowners committed to landscape conservation with properties that strategically bridge gaps between fragmented Crown land within the Highlands Corridor. The HHLT assists landowners in developing management plans with objectives of enhancing environmental protection and wildlife habitat. The program also provides a property tax incentive for a 10-year term through enrollment in Ontario’s Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program.
The PIC program has been very successful. With 20 PIC members representing over 1,800 hectares, the PIC program continues to grow, with 5 new members in the vital Highlands Corridor being added this summer. Many of these private properties create an important connectivity component to the Crown land within the corridor, as well as enhancing climate resilience and supporting all wildlife, including many species at risk.
During the August meeting with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks the government officials commended on the comprehensiveness of the HHLT research, and the establishment of local and provincial support. The PIC program demonstrates strong local landowner commitment to conservation and stewardship and support of the Highlands Corridor project."