’50 in 50′: An Early Blueprint for Local Conservation (1970)

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 Lower Trent Conservation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! To celebrate this milestone, we will be releasing a ’50 in 50′ historical blog series throughout the year – 50 articles highlighting some of the achievements, milestones and events of the past 50 years.

“While most Conservation Authorities were created because of the urgent necessity to correct flooding, all were aware of the necessity of ferrying out supplementary measures such as improved methods of land use, reforestation, proper woodlot management, prevention of pollution, underground water supplies, wildlife studies and recreation.” — Report to the Ontario Legislature from the Select Committee on Conservation – 1950

At the first meeting of the Conservation Authority in 1968, it was agreed to request the provincial Minister of Energy and Resources Management to undertake a study to assess the conservation problems and opportunities within the watershed. The study was conducted in the summer of 1969 at no cost to the Conservation Authority.

#5 Stream surveys
Early stream surveys

Extensive field studies were conducted to expand and fill gaps in existing information. The studies covered conservation aspects of land, forest, water, wildlife, recreation, and community planning. Survey crews consisted of university students in these subjects and worked under the direction of the experienced section heads of the Conservation Authorities Branch, Department of Energy and Resources Management.

A year later, the ‘1970 Conservation Report’ was released, providing a blueprint for the organization during the early years. The Report included 3 volumes: History; Volume I – Conservation Report and Plan; Volume II – Appendix

The Conservation Report served as a guide to the Conservation Authority in formulating and carrying out a program of conservation in its area of jurisdiction. Some of the priorities outlined in the Conservation Report included plans for:1970 Conservation Report Cover-Volume I 1970

  • improvements to creeks, mill ponds, lakes, marshes and wildlife areas
  • provision of public picnic, fishing and hunting areas
  • measures for safeguarding the vital outdoor areas against haphazard development which might destroy the environment

In 2018, Lower Trent Conservation will release a new Conservation Report to mark its 50th anniversary.  It will summarize the background information about the Lower Trent watershed region and identify current issues as well as additional information needed to better protect and manage our watersheds.

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