Recent action

The Conservation Committee monitors the Ontario government’s Environmental Registry and responds to issues that pertain to the Ottawa region or to the overall environment.

ERO 019-1113: Proposed changes to Black Bear hunting regulations. OFNC letter (draft)

ERO 013-4143: Protesting changes to the Endangered Species Act. OFNC letter

ERO 013-4124: Opposing a proposal to create a hunting season for Double-crested Cormorants. OFNC letter

EBR-012-9170: Asking the ministry to go farther than restricting the capture of Snapping Turtles and end this practice completely. This imitative successfully banned the capture and harvesting of Snapping Turtles.

EBR-012-8104 and EBR-012-8105: Urging the ministry to protect the Algonquin Wolf throughout its range

EBR-012-8004: Minto Communities’ request for an overall benefit permit to adversely affect Blanding’s Turtle habitat by constructing a residential development in Stittsville
Minto request | OFNC response

Conservation Committee members are also writing blog posts about environmental action YOU can take in your own backyard: see Conservation how to

All OFNC activities – the excursions and meetings, the publications, the bird count, the Macoun Club, etc. – depend on the continued existence of a natural environment where the astonishing happenings we call “nature” can continue to happen. The Conservation Committee’s job is to be alert to human influences that are damaging to the natural environment and to advise OFNC members and the executive about what actions we can take, both as individuals and collectively.

About the Conservation Committee

The OFNC’s Conservation Committee has been in existence for 32 years. Today, it continues a long tradition of working for the preservation of natural environments in the Ottawa region and beyond.

In its early days, the Conservation Committee was known as the Research and Briefs Committee, with a mandate to coordinate and work on environmental issues. Over the years the committee has served as the “environmental watch dog of the Club”, taking seriously several objectives of the OFNC: “To promote the appreciation, preservation and conservation of Canada’s natural heritage” and “to support and co-operate with organizations engaged in preserving, maintaining or restoring environments of high quality for living things.”

In the early days of the committee, field trips were frequently undertaken to allow members to familiarize themselves with areas that were either threatened by development or had been proposed for a conservation status. Significant inventories of flora and fauna were compiled over the course of these visits which sometimes involved multiple trips to a site. This was the fun part of the committee’s work! Much of the work involved the preparation of numerous briefs, reports, and letters and attending frequent meetings: open houses, workshops, public meetings and the like.

Nothing has changed! Today’s committee continues the practice of gathering information pertaining to the various issues as they arise, including attending meetings and open houses, reading documentation, and preparing briefs and letters. Many of our members sit on outside committees serving as liaison between them and the OFNC. At present we have members linking us to the City of Ottawa Environmental Advisory Committee, the Greenspace Alliance, the Friends of Larose Forest, the Alfred Bog Committee, the Sierra Club of Canada, the City of Ottawa’s Urban Natural Areas Study, and the Friends of Petrie Island.

In addition to local issues, the OFNC supports conservation efforts on a broader scale through affiliation with organizations such as the Federation of Ontario Naturalists and Canadian Nature Federation.

Past conservation “campaigns”

The OFNC Conservation Committee is planning a series of annual “biothons” or “bioblitzes” at significant natural areas in the Ottawa region. This ambitious new initiative was launched at Constance Bay in 2014.

Conservation library

You can help

iNaturalist – A place to report all your nature sightings. “Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed.”

Bumblebee Watch – Report your sightings and add your photos of bumble bees to this continent-wide effort to understand more about these species and prevent their decline.

Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas – Help track the distribution and trends in turtle, snake, salamander, and frog numbers across the province.

Neighbourhood Batwatch – Learn about bats, report your sightings to this national program organized by Quebec’s Ministère des Forêts de la Faune et des Parcs and the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science.

eButterfly – A real-time, online checklist and photo storage program, e-Butterfly is providing a new way for the butterfly community to report, organize and access information about butterflies in North America.