TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Hydro One and the Saugeen Valley
Conservation Authority (SVCA) announced today that they will be
partnering on the creation of a tall grass prairie vegetation community
as part of Hydro One's Bruce to Milton Biodiversity Initiative.
The initiative will enhance 1.8 hectares of the Allan Park Forest
Management Tract, located in the Municipality of West Grey. It will
involve establishing tall grass prairie vegetation that is not native
to Allan Park, to increase and diversify wildlife in the watershed. The
plantings will be maintained by controlled burning of the fields (every
3 to 10 years) to control shrub and tree seedlings and other
non-prairie weeds, eliminate standing dead plant material and to
enhance prairie plant species growth.
The Allan Park property is actively used by various groups and community
members all year round. The SVCA will engage local community members
through an open house, and include signage and informational pamphlets
aimed to educate and inform the community about the importance of the
tall grass initiative.
The Biodiversity Initiative is an innovative mitigation approach that
will create and enhance natural habitat in partnership with
community-based organizations, First Nations and Métis, and
municipalities. The initiative shifts Hydro One's focus from its
traditional compensation approach of "area for area" replacement of
woodlots when constructing new high-voltage transmission lines. Hydro
One was recently recognized by the Canadian Electricity Association
(CEA) for this Biodiversity Initiative, receiving the CEA 2009
Environmental Commitment Award
"We are very proud of the Biodiversity Initiative and the opportunity it
provides us to enhance the natural habitat and give back to communities
as we modernize the electricity transmission system," said Laura
Formusa, President and CEO, Hydro One Inc. "Partnering with the SVCA
means that community values are reflected throughout the process,
helping to ensure success while making sure Hydro One can deliver the
electricity Ontario needs."
"Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority is pleased to partner with Hydro
One for the implementation of this Biodiversity Initiative within the
Allan Park Forest Management Tract," said Jo-Anne Harbinson, Manager,
"The project is the first of its kind for Allan Park, and will result in
the establishment of plants not common to our watershed. The tall
grass prairie ecosystem will help to increase the overall diversity of
the tract and surrounding area," said Harbinson. "The site conditions
present within the planting area will nurture this plant community.
Once established, the SVCA hopes that the tall grass prairie
vegetation community at this site can be used as an educational tool
for ecosystem biodiversity."
This year, seven partners will receive funding from Hydro One to
implement 22 locally-designed biodiversity initiatives. These projects
will help restore and enhance approximately 380 hectares of habitat and
ensure there is net gain of woodlot and wildlife habitat within the
four watersheds crossed by the new transmission line. Approximately,
280 hectares of woodlots will be removed to enable construction of the
Bruce to Milton Project.
The Bruce to Milton Project received Ontario Energy Board section 92
Leave to Construct approval on September 15, 2008 and Environmental
Assessment approval on December 16, 2009. This new 180 kilometre
double-circuit 500 kV transmission line from Kincardine to Milton will
transfer more than 3,000 megawatts of clean and renewable power from
the Bruce area to southern Ontario. This project represents the largest
expansion to Ontario's transmission system in 20 years. The new line is
planned to be in-service in December 2012.
For more information on the Biodiversity Projects and partners please
Hydro One delivers electricity safely, reliably and responsibly to homes
and businesses across the province of Ontario and owns and operates
Ontario's 29,000 km high-voltage transmission network that delivers
electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and
a 123,000 km low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3
million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the
province. Hydro One is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario.
The Saugeen Conservation Authority owns over 8,498 hectares of
Conservation Areas and Lands comprised of important wetlands, managed
forests and day use areas and camping parks. To learn more about SVCA,