Local land trust conservancy seeks new board members to build upon permanent protection of nature areas

Land trust looking for new members of Board of Directors as some members plan to step down after years of dedicated service

Mayhew Tract, Bayfield River Flats have received lasting protection through Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy

A local land trust is seeking new members for its Board of Directors to continue to preserve nature areas for future generations. The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC) provides lasting protection of local water and habitat through permanent custodianship of important nature areas such as the Bayfield River Flats and the Mayhew Tract.

The Chairman of the Land Trust is Roger Lewington, of Bayfield. He said the land trust’s successes are thanks to generous community donors and landowners and to directors who have served on the board since the land trust’s creation in 2011. After six years of dedicated service, some directors are stepping down to take on other challenges. This opens up a chance for other nature-minded people to step forward in this role and to continue this important work, said Lewington.

“I would like to thank those board members who are moving on after years of dedicated service,” the Chairman said. “I would also like to invite you to put your name forward as a potential candidate or to offer suggestions of other community-minded people who might serve as a director and continue this important work.”

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF), a registered Canadian charity, created the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy to provide a new way to leave a lasting local land legacy. The HTLTC is a volunteer organization with a nine-member Board of Directors appointed by the Foundation. Directors represent the geographic area of the land trust and have varied backgrounds and expertise.

If you would like to provide your own name, or the name of someone you wish to nominate, as a possible candidate for the HTLTC Board of Directors, please phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email info@htltc.ca or send a short biography or curriculum vitæ to Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy, c/o Ausable Bayfield Conservation, 71108 Morrison Line, RR 3 Exeter, ON, NOM 1S6.

A group of volunteers, sponsored by the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association and supported by a successful community fundraising campaign, made it possible to acquire the Bayfield River Flats property, southeast of the Bayfield Bridge, in 2016. This was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to acquire about 1,000 feet of river bank natural area in the old village boundaries of Bayfield to preserve access to the naturalized area along the river. The property, once home of the Thomson grist and sawmill, was transferred to Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy. This was to ensure the land would remain part of the community’s local land legacy in perpetuity.

An important forested property in the Holmesville area, the Mayhew Tract, was donated to the Land Trust, by the Mayhew Family, in memory of Jack and Iris Mayhew, in 2015. The Mayhew Tract is about two kilometres south of Holmesville, on the northeast corner of Tower Line Road and Parr Line. The ten-acre (four-hectare) property is entirely forested. The property provides animal habitat and stores water through the year and recharges the groundwater table.

Land trusts or land conservancies are independent, charitable organizations that work with private landowners to preserve open space and nature. A land trust can permanently protect land to preserve its natural, environmental, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural importance. Land trusts accept donations and bequests of land and conservation agreements and, in some cases, may purchase land or conservation agreements. The land is then protected from that time on. Acquisition of properties is subject to board approval and negotiation of management agreements.

The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gets its name and geographic boundaries from the days of early settlement in this part of Ontario. The Huron Tract was purchased by the Canada Company, an agent of the British government, to be distributed to colonial settlers of Upper Canada. The Canada Company bought one million acres (4,000 km) of land, west of the then London district, and called it the Huron Tract. The Canada Company was the administrative agent for the Huron Tract.

The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gives people in the historic Huron Tract area a safe, reliable, long-term way to leave financial contributions or bequests of real property for the protection of land, water, and habitat for generations to come. If you would like to donate to the work of the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy, or leave a lasting local land legacy for protection, please visit htltc.ca, phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or speak with one of the community members on the land trust’s Board of Directors.