The Dufferin Northern Peel Anglers and Hunters Association (DNPAHA) is a conservation association managing their woods and wetlands to sustain their property for future generations of hunters and anglers to enjoy.
Their 50-hectare property provides numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation like camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and archery. The Association’s 350 members recognize that the enjoyment of these activities relies on healthy, thriving forests and wetlands. Over the years, they have undertaken many activities to preserve their land, including planting trees, restoring a wetland, installing bird nesting boxes and upgrading their well. They’ve also committed to the long-term project of transforming their red pine plantation into a diverse and flourishing forest.
It’s “a labour of love,” says DNPAHA Forestry Chair Chris McCoy. For nearly three decades, the Association has been implementing a forest management plan to improve forest health. They’ve conducted three selective forest thinnings, removed invasive species and diseased red pine and ash trees and re-planted the area with 1,600 native trees and shrubs. Funding from Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and Trees Canada made the tree planting project possible. As participants in the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program, the Association also receives a reduction on their municipal property taxes.
“We wouldn’t have been able to plant as much as we did without these grants,” says McCoy. “I cannot encourage people enough to look into these funding programs for their own properties. It will only benefit the whole watershed.”
Their hard work is starting to pay off. The plant and animal communities are richer and more diverse, and members are seeing more bird species on the property, including osprey, peregrine falcons, owls, and grouse.
In the coming years, they’ll continue to focus on removing invasive species like buckthorn, selectively removing trees using low impact horse logging and re-planting cleared areas.
The incredible work the Association is doing is a reminder of what we can accomplish when we work together toward a common goal. Building resilient, thriving forests benefits us all. If you have a woodlot on your property, we can help you get started with sustainably managing your woods. Contact a CVC stewardship coordinator to find support, guidance, and funding for your sustainable forest management projects.