Natural Areas Abutting Lake Simcoe Geographic Information (recommended)

Coordinate system: NAD83(CSRS) / UTM zone 17N (EPSG:2958)

Abstract:
Natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe are identified by the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan (LSPP) as a key natural heritage feature (policy 6.21-DP). As per policy 6.30 a technical paper was drafted by the MNR to provide definitions for key natural heritage and key hydrologic features as described in policies 6.21 and 6.22. The key natural heritage feature natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe is defined in this technical paper. The technical paper was completed by June 2, 2010 and was subject to consultation and approval. The technical paper and therefore the definition for natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe was approved March 2015. Features were mapped based on the definition for natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe. While it is known that key natural heritage feature policies do not apply in settlement areas, these features were mapped for the entire shoreline area outside the Greenbelt Plan area and First Nation lands. Mapping of natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe utilized the recently revised MNR mapping of woodlands and wetlands for the Lake Simcoe watershed. Methodology used by Aurora and Midhurst MNR districts for the Southern Ontario Land Resource Information System (SOLRIS) Phase 1 project was applied to update the woodland, evaluated wetlands and identified wetlands layers utilizing orthophotography acquired in the spring of 2008. Natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe Definition: Natural Areas Abutting Lake Simcoe means land that extends from the Lake Simcoe shoreline with natural self sustaining vegetation of any plant form or potential natural community. Notwithstanding the above, natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe do not include vegetation communities maintained by anthropogenic-based disturbances (e.g. land for agricultural uses, manicured lawns or ornamental plantings). Feature Identification Natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe are areas of a continuous vegetation community class that have a minimum size of 1 ha and are wholly or partially within the 30 m buffer zone of the Lake Simcoe shoreline. These areas may be a narrow band of vegetation along the shoreline or larger areas, which extend a greater distance from the shoreline. As described in policy 6.31-SA, the MNR and the MOE will map the location of natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe. For purposes of identifying natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe, vegetation communities separated by an opening of >10 m would be considered separate features. A bisecting opening <10 m wide would not be considered to separate a natural area abutting Lake Simcoe into two features. However, the developed portion (e.g., public road or active rail line) of any bisecting opening will not be included in the calculation of area for natural areas abutting Lake Simcoe.