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Public Consultation

Public consultation on projects

This is the web page for public consultation by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).

A current public consultation opportunity is to review and provide comments on the first phase of the Watershed-Based Resource Management Strategy (WBRMS). The feedback period for the first phase of the document takes place until Friday, September 15, 2023 at 1 p.m. More details, including the Public Notice, are included on this web page.

Members of the public have participated on steering committees for several strategic plans including the Conservation Strategy, Shoreline Management Plan, Main Bayfield Watershed Plan, and Old Ausable Channel Management Plan, to name a few. 

Citizen involvement helps ensure documents meet the needs of the community and local water, soil, and habitat, and include practical, implementable recommendations and action plans.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) also invites public comment on projects and policies. Check this page for updates. 

Watershed-Based Resource Management Strategy

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is developing a new watershed strategy to guide the watershed conservation organization beyond 2023. The document will fulfill the needs of the ABCA and requirements of the Conservation Authorities Act (CA Act). It will build on past strategic documents including the Conservation Strategy and Watershed Management Strategy (2015-2025). 

The Watershed-Based Resource Management Strategy (WBRMS) guides the management and operations of the ABCA. It goes beyond a traditional a watershed planning document. It is also a business plan for the ABCA and informs the five-year budget forecast and yearly budgets as well as identifying opportunities to collaborate with other organizations and engage landowners to achieve the objectives. 

In a nutshell, the strategy framework includes characterizing the system (what we know), setting goals and objectives (where we want to go), assessing and identifying gaps (what is missing), and creating action plans (what we need to do to get there).

Phase 1 public consultation complete

Thank you to members of the public who participated in the survey between August 10 and September 15, 2023. 

Additional components of the strategy for the Board of Directors are being prepared. 

Further opportunities to provide comments will take place later. Please watch this web page for more information.

Conservation Authorities Act

Subsections 12(4)-(7) of Ontario Regulation 686/21 set out the required components to be included in the WBRMS. Each individual conservation authority can determine the strategy framework and format. 

Required Components 

The regulation states that the Strategy must include: 

  1. Guiding principles and objectives that inform the design and delivery of a Conservation Authority’s mandatory programs and services (s.12(4) paragraph 1). 
  2. A summary of existing technical studies, monitoring programs and other information on the natural resources the authority relies on within its area of jurisdiction or in specific watersheds that directly informs and supports the delivery of the Conservation Authority’s mandatory programs and services (s.12(4) paragraph 2).
  3. A review of the Conservation Authority’s mandatory programs and services for the purposes of determining if they comply with the mandatory programs and services regulation. This includes: an assessment of the effectiveness of the delivery of Category 1 programs; identifying actions and risk mitigation to address identified issues/risks that limit the effectiveness of delivery. A cost estimate for the implementation of those actions must be included (i.e., supporting Category 1, 2 and/or 3 programs to support mandatory program delivery) (s.12(4) paragraph 3, i, ii, iii). The Strategy will include both Category 2 and 3 programs and services provided by the CA, where there is an agreement with municipalities (s.12(5),12(6), 12(7)). 
  4. A process for periodic review and updates to the Strategy by the CA, including procedures to consult with stakeholders and the public during these periodic reviews (s.12(4) paragraph 4).
  5. Consult with stakeholders and the public during the preparation of the Strategy in a manner that the authority considers advisable.
  6. Ensure the Strategy is made publicly available on their websites or by other means the authority considers advisable.