Before you take any serious site alteration to your property it’s important to consult your township and/or county office for guidance. If you see activity on a neighbouring property that is concerning, you can also contact the County Conservation Bylaw Officer.
Development practices are altering our shorelines such that an important buffer of native vegetation along the shoreline has become fragmented. This fragmentation has a negative effect on water quality and the fish and wildlife that rely on this critical space where water touches land.
To manage what can be built or paved in that important buffer area, and recognizing the equal if not greater importance of the understory species that reinforce the tree layer, the County sought to put additional regulations in place to protect the shorelands and the quality of the water. *
Scientists agree that a 30-metre buffer of trees and underbrush is the minimum to protect water quality. More is better of course, and many waterfront residents do keep their entire properties vegetated with native species.
The new Shoreline Preservation By-law which was passed in April 2023 stipulates a buffer of 20 meters from the shoreline. Bylaws can be amended with improvements in the future. The township of Dysart et el is working on their own Shoreline by-law and it should be in place in 2023.
The County has a Shoreline Tree Preservation By-law that stipulates no cutting of trees with a diameter of 5 cm or within 30 metres of the shoreline.
Another little known by-law is the Haliburton County Forestry Conservation By-law that guides and restricts what landowners can do on properties of 4 hectares (9.88 acres) or more. This is an important bylaw because it applies to all types of properties not just waterfront lots.
Conservation Bylaw Officer
These bylaws are complaint driven so if you see any activity going on that you’re not sure complies with the bylaw call or email the County’s Conservation Bylaw Officer, James Rogers to discuss the situation with him. email@example.com Tel. 705 457-6854.
* The vegetative layer beneath the tree canopy, the “brush” can contain 90% of the species in the forest and is vital to forest function. This layer shades tree roots, covers bare soil, influences the growth of tree seedlings, and discourages weeds. Its fallen foliage is higher in nutrients than decaying tree leaves. Shallow roots mat together to anchor the soil and intercept surface runoff. Deeper rooted plants also take up water and excess nutrients at levels just above the bedrock in areas with thin soil. Overhanging plants provide shade and cover for fish and other aquatic life. Native vegetation requires no harmful pesticides or fertilizers to thrive. Herbaceous plants are a source of nectar, pollen and nesting material for pollinating insects and birds. From the Master Gardeners’ Directory of Native Plants for your Property including Shorelines