Queen’s Park, Toronto, June 7: At a celebration at Queen’s Park today the Highlands Corridor Project was officially launched by the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT), a group of local Haliburton decision-makers and landowners who travelled to Toronto for the occasion, and a group of invited MPPs and key stakeholders.
“I am happy to help raise awareness for this project and host the Haliburton Highland Land Trust reception”, said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
The Highlands Corridor extends across southern Haliburton and northern Peterborough counties, within the territory of the Williams Treaties First Nations. The Corridor covers over 100,000 ha of unceded public and private land, rich with wetlands, forests, wildlife communities, species at risk, and deep carbon deposits. Connecting three provincial parks (Queen Elizabeth II, Kawartha Highlands and Silent Lake), the Corridor offers a nature-based solution to building climate change resilience, protecting lands and waters, and maintaining biodiversity and natural connectivity.
Protecting the Highlands Corridor is the greatest opportunity to enhance habitat connectivity in Central and Southern Ontario.
MPPs from all political parties attended the reception. John Yakabuski, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks said: “Our government is proud to share the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust’s commitment to support the permanent protection of lands of ecological significance for future generations.”
Former MPP and former Warden of Haliburton County, Chris Hodgson, is a strong supporter of the Project and said: “HHLT’s initiative to protect the Highlands Corridor will enhance connectivity between Queen Elizabeth II Provincial Park and Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, creating an important wildlife corridor in south central Ontario and a huge opportunity for biodiversity conservation.”
The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) is requesting the 60,000 ha of unceded Crown land within the Corridor be protected as a conservation reserve. This initiative has strong local support with a resolution of support passed by the County of Haliburton on February 22 nd , 2023. Private landowners within the Highlands Corridor have also demonstrated support through partnering with the HHLT to steward another 1658 ha of private land within the Corridor.