Skip to main content

South March Highlands Conservation Forest Management Plan

Project Status: 
Underway

Overview

The South March Highlands Conservation Forest consists of 457 hectares of land within the larger South March Highlands forest and natural environment area. It is located immediately adjacent to and within the urban and developing area in Kanata. The forest is one of the most ecologically significant and diverse areas in the City of Ottawa. It also provides opportunities for recreational use, such as hiking and mountain biking.

Over the next few years, it will come under increasing pressure as adjacent development continues and more people discover this unique natural area. To address this challenge, the City is preparing a management plan. This plan will help the City, in partnership with the community, provide opportunities for people to benefit from this unique area while protecting the natural features and functions that make it special.

Management Plan

What is the Conservation Forest?

The South March Highlands Conservation Forest consists of 457 hectares of municipally owned land within the larger South March Highlands forest and natural environment area. The forest is located immediately adjacent to and within the urban and developing area in Kanata.

The Forest is one of the most ecologically significant and diverse areas in the City of Ottawa, and is also an important area for outdoor recreation including hiking and mountain biking.

Why do we need a management plan?

The Forest is under increased stress from adjacent development and recreational use. A management plan is needed to help the City and the community manage uses and protect significant natural environment characteristics as pressure on the area increases. The intent is to provide opportunities for the community to benefit from this significant resource while protecting the natural features and functions which make it special.
South March Highlands Base
 PDF version [739 KB]
 

What will the management plan do?

  • Provide information on the natural environment and human use in the area
  • Provide conceptual plans, such as general trail locations and types, to help manage use.
  • Provide management strategies, such as seasonal guidelines to minimize impact from trail use, to ensure that significant features are protected and that the area provides a high quality user experience.

How will the Management Plan be developed?

  • The existing conditions in the area were surveyed to update existing information in summer 2007.
  • In 2008, City staff, the community and a consulting team (Douglas and Ruhland Associates with Daniel Brunton Consulting) will work together to develop the management plan.
  • This will involve setting management objectives and priorities and looking at ways to meet these objectives over time.
  • There will be consultation with residents and users through open houses, stakeholder consultation, and opportunities to review and respond to options presented.

Open house #1 - April 30, 2008

The project initiation open house was held on April 30 at the Kanata Old Town Hall. Approximately 100 people attended and many completed comment sheets, which answered questions such as:

  • How do you use the highlands?
  • Where do you go in the highlands?
  • What are the special features you value?
  • What concerns should be aware of as we develop a management plan?

Open House #2 - March 2, 2009

The second public open house for the South March Highlands Conservation Forest Management Plan was held on the evening of Monday, March 2, 2009 at the Milaca Centre. The meeting was a success with over 120 people in attendance. The public had an opportunity to look at the draft plan concepts and to ask questions to City staff and the project consultants. A short presentation was given outlining the draft concepts and a question period followed. The public also had an opportunity to fill in comment sheets in order to provide their views on the concepts presented.

The display boards from the open house, which show the draft plan concepts, can be seen below. Some minor revisions have been made to Board 5.

Part 1 - General Information on the South March Highlands Conservation Forest

General Information on the South March Highlands Conservation Forest - Part 1

Part 2 - General Information

General Information - Part 2

Part 3 - Vegetation Classes

Vegetation Classes

Part 4 - Environmentally Significant Zones

Environmentally Significant Zones

Part 5 - Pathway / Trail Experience Map

Pathway / Trail Experience Map

Part 6 - Pathway / Trail Experience Cross Sections

Pathway / Trail Experience Cross Sections

Contact person

For more information, please contact:

Nicholas Stow
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Tel.: 613-580-2424, ext. 13000
Email: nick.stow@ottawa.ca