Measuring Success on the Oak Ridges Moraine Project
The Oak Ridges Moraine: A One of a Kind Ecological Jewel
How are we doing on the Oak Ridges Moraine?
The Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation commissioned, and is now proud to have published, the Measuring Success on the Oak Ridges Moraine reports. Two years in the making, the eight-volume study documents where we are with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan —successes, shortcomings, what’s working, what isn’t—and provides the government and other stakeholders with recommended actions and the data needed to plot a course that ensures its successful implementation and realization.
Together, the reports measure “success” on the Moraine in three different but essential dimensions:
- Condition of the Moraine environment, from a watershed perspective and also in terms of plants, animals and ecology.
-Rate of progress on implementation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan at municipal and provincial levels and among area stakeholders.
-Extent of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation’s achievements in its five core focus areas (land stewardship, land securement, education, research and trail improvement/development).
With a full review of the Conservation Plan due in just four years, this is the first time this type of data has been gathered and analyzed. On the environmental front, this means many of the results compiled for Measuring Success are original, baseline information. Without this information it would be impossible to measure the Plan’s effectiveness in protecting and enhancing the Moraine’s ecological and hydrological health through time.
Overall, the eight reports tell a story of a Moraine that is holding its own in terms of its environmental health, particularly with respect to its base of natural vegetation and cover. However, the reports do reveal some area of serious concern. Only one-third of all stream corridors on the ORM meet the ecological target of 75% natural vegetation coverage, for example. Rare prairie grassland and savannah habitats, present in small quantities on the Moraine in areas like the Rice Lake Plains, are also under constant threat as is habitat for interior forest species and species-at-risk.
The Measuring Success reports conclude that there is a need for both regulatory and non-regulatory (activities like land stewardship, land securement, public education and research) approaches to continue in order to ensure the Oak Ridges Moraine is restored and protected for generations to come.
The following eight reports make up the Measuring Success on the Oak Ridges Moraine series. Reports were prepared under the guidance of a Steering Committee and a Technical Committee for the ecology based reports. The finalized reports incorporated, where possible, feedback received by the general public during a 90-day open commenting period.
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1. Stakeholder Report: Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation: An Assesment of Stakeholder Awareness, Support and Concerns for the Implementation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan
2. Compliance Assessment: Assessing Compliance of Policy and Regulatory Agencies to the Requirements of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan
3. Watershed Health Assessment: Assessing the Health of the Oak Ridges Moraine in a Watershed Context
4. Landscape Health Assessment: Assessing the Health of the Oak Ridges Moraine in a Landscape Context
5. Land Stewardship: Achievements in Land Stewardship since the Establishment of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation
6. Land Securement: Achievements in Land Securement since the Establishment of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation
7. Research and Education: Achievements in Research and Education since the Establishment of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation
8. Oak Ridges Moraine Trail: Improvements to the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail since the Adoption of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan