South Nation Conservation will be completing a project on the natural features of Prescott and Russell, and Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SD&G).

At the May 22 council meeting, United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) council approved using the services of the conservation authority to complete the portion of the Natural Features Project work within the Prescott-Russell territory.

According to a document prepared by South Nation Conservation, both UCPR and SD&G decided the project was necessary in order to complete a comprehensive environmental review of natural features, connected public land and practical land-use planning policies and tools for communities.

When the subject was discussed at a Committee of the Whole meeting in April, UCPR Planning and Forestry Director Louis Prévost said the original intention was to hire a consultant but it was discovered that the conservation authority could do the work because of the relationship it already has with municipalities.

“We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel,” said Prévost.

South Nation Conservation is charging $148,775 for the project.  That price includes HST and a $11,969 contingency amount.  The project will also include consultations with the Raisin Region Conservation Authority which covers territory in Stormont and Glengarry counties.  Territories outside the South Nation and Raisin Region conservation authorities are also included.

Prévost explained that the purpose of the project is to help create more comprehensive policies on wetlands, fish habitat, and wildlife corridors—policies he said the provincial government wants to see more consolidated.

The goal is to have “policies that make sense and are easy to apply,” but still protect the environment, said Prévost.

The project is to be completed by 2021 and will include opportunities for public participation and consultation.