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1 Natural Heritage Systems Planning with Multiple Stakeholders Elizabeth Spang IM & Spatial Analysis Unit February 25, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Natural Heritage Systems Planning with Multiple Stakeholders Elizabeth Spang IM & Spatial Analysis Unit February 25, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Natural Heritage Systems Planning with Multiple Stakeholders Elizabeth Spang IM & Spatial Analysis Unit February 25, 2011

2 2 The Real World: A Fragmented Landscape Why Engage Stakeholders? Southern Ontario NHS Projects NHS Design Process Benefits of Engagement

3 3 Many organizations and agencies are involved in land management but are their activities integrated? Southern Ontario: A Fragmented Landscape

4 4 MNR’s NHS Approach Developed in Natural Spaces An objective, science-based approach to set targets for what should be included in an NHS Based on regional, ecological boundaries Uses a site selection algorithm Results in a strategic tool to support decision-making An approach that can integrate conservation activities through Stakeholder Engagement

5 5 One organization can’t do it alone The stakeholders have a crucial role: –in identifying objectives for a NHS –in setting the ecological targets to guide the NHS design –in championing the final NHS and implementing it within their own organizations Why engage stakeholders to design an NHS?

6 6 Working Together toward a NHS for Prince Edward County and Surrounding Communities

7 7 Terms of Reference Establishes a Vision, Goals, Objectives, and Guiding Principles Guiding Principles: The process of developing the Natural Heritage System will: 1)Engage stakeholders in its design and development 2)Incorporate ecological, economic, social and cultural values 3)Be based on best-available science and information 4)Be open and transparent in reporting on process, methods, outcomes and results 5)Be dynamic and adaptive 6)Be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and all applicable legislation 7)Consider existing municipal official plans and existing areas of development 8)Recognise the many values of natural and developed areas

8 8 Stakeholder Interests Represented on the Sustaining What We Value Project Area Artist Cultural Landowner Landowner/ Farmer Stewardship Council/Social Canadian Land Trust Alliance Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Algonquin to Adirondacks Conservation Association (NGO) Eastern Ontario Model Forest (NGO) Upper Tier Municipality – GIS Upper Tier Municipality – Sustainability Coordinator Municipal Planner/ Lower Tier St. Lawrence Islands National Park Conservation Authority Kemptville District MNR Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Agriculture Health Unit

9 9 Technical Support Team NHS Design Process Stakeholder Group Diverse Interests Consensus Decision Making

10 10 Stakeholder Decisions: Socio-Political Constraints How should existing land uses be accommodated by the NHS? E.g. Should Provincial Parks always be included in the NHS? E.g. Can we minimize the amount of prime agricultural land that gets included? 48+ items discussed

11 11 Stakeholder Decisions: Set Targets What is the minimum amount of natural area needed for a healthy ecosystem? –23 Targets discussed: Biodiversity Ecological Functions (e.g. patch size) Fine Scale Species Habitat (e.g. SAR) Watershed Functions (e.g. headwater areas) Percent Forest Cover by Watershed

12 12 Where Do Targets Come From? Scientific Literature –How Much Habitat Is Enough? –Local studies Policy Documents: –Natural Heritage Reference Manual –Significant Wildlife Habitat Technical Guide –Silvicultural Guide

13 13 Producing the Learning Scenarios Lead Analyst (Southern Region, MNR) –Assemble all the targets and constraints set by the stakeholders –Prep data layers –Use a decision-support tool (MARXAN) to identify efficient configurations of sites Defendable and Objective Easily Updated Can run many scenarios

14 14 Multiple Scenarios Help with Engagement Ability to try multiple scenarios helps stakeholders move past areas of disagreement –E.g. agriculture vs. conservation –NPCA agricultural reps wanted to exclude all areas with Class 1,2,3,4 and O soil types

15 15 Stakeholder Decisions Review of Learning Scenarios –E.g. Which NHS option best balances ecological function with being socially and politically acceptable? –E.g. Which option can all agree on?

16 16 Ecological Thresholds Percent Forest Cover by Quaternary Watersheds

17 17 Baseline Captures 99% of existing natural cover Reviewing the Learning Scenarios

18 18 The Best Half of What’s Left on the Landscape Captures 65% of existing natural cover Reviewing the Learning Scenarios

19 19 Forest and Wetland Cover Targets Captures 86% of existing natural cover Reviewing the Learning Scenarios

20 20 Implementation The NHS is a package of compiled information and data layers that can inform: –Priorities for Stewardship Projects –Land Use Planning and Policy Decisions –Conservation Land Acquisitions –Development Proposal Assessments (including cumulative effects) –Priorities for Inventory Programs and Research Projects We will be providing knowledge transfer sessions to key groups (e.g. planners, land trusts, etc.)

21 21 Zoomed in we can see the 5ha hexagons which contain the information and areas for each feature Using GIS we can map the underlying features captured by the hexagons identified in the final scenario We can look at how well the boundaries from the GIS layer capture the actual features on the ground using available imagery By developing some rules we can identify areas with restoration potential where existing natural cover is fragmented in order to develop a connected system In this example GIS was used to identify areas between features that are within 300m and gaps/holes within features at least 300m wide Example Application: Stewardship

22 22 Benefits of Engagement Sense of ownership Stakeholders become advocates for the product Representing diverse interests increases legitimacy Aligned activities

23 23 Acknowledgements GeoConnections Sustaining What We Value Steering Committee Members: –Elizabeth Holmes –Josh Van Wieren –Chris Bellemore –Don Ross –David Bull –Amber Cowie –Erin Neave Scenario Planning Team Members Kerry Coleman, facilitator – Steve Voros – Silvia Strobl – Chris Lemieux – Joy Sterritt – Amy Handyside – Karen Fraser

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