A new threat to the environment has arrived in Norfolk County!

Purple Loose Strife – often called Beautiful Killer!

Silver Lake is beginning to blossom with fields of Purple Loosestrife.

We must take action now to protect Norfolk County. The spread of Purple Loosestrife poses a huge threat to our ecosystem, to the biodiversity of habitat for indigenous wildlife and plant species, and eventual impact on agriculture lands in the vicinity.  In the summer of 2010, we saw the  first stage infestation of purple loosestrife pictured above. The budgeted dam repair and first phase of dredging in the lake was expected to address this problem with initial work completed this summer. The red tape of bureaucracy moves at its own pace leaving us facing year 3 of an environmental threat posed to move quickly into adjacent agricultural lands with impact on our coveted reputation as being Ontario’s food market garden.  The picture above was taken August 2010 just after the water in the lake was lowered. The infestation is just beginning to flower now. For a full understanding on the issues involved, please read the article below taken from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website.

While the task of protecting our environment from invasive species falls within the portfolio of the Ministry of Environment , the issue has impact for the Ministry of Natural Resources (biodiversity & wildlife)  and the Ministry of Agriculture (food industry).   It is imperative that we contact all ministry contacts immediately.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. Environment Canada’s mandate is to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment, including water, air, soil, flora and fauna. You can report sightings online at http://www.invadingspecies.com or you can all the Invading Species hotline at 1-800-563-7711.  This same hotline is also listed on the Ministry of Natural Resources website as well.

Another contact for MOE is Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service, 4905 Dufferin Street, Downsview, ON, M3H 5T4  (416) 739-4986

2.  The Ministry of Agriculture can be alerted to this threat by calling the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300  or using the Agricultural Information Feedback Form or  sending an e-mail to ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca . If you wish to contact the Minister directly, you can use the Comments to the Minister feedback  form listed on the ministry website.

3. Diane Finley has demonstrated support for Norfolk County Agriculture when she announced an investment of $416,505 to the Norfolk County Agricultural Society for upgrades and beautification of the Norfolk County Fairgrounds. This investment will create immediate employment to support the local economy under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) in Southern Ontario. She will be concerned that this investment may be at risk.

Diane Finley Simcoe Office, 76 Kent Street South, Simcoe, ON, N3Y 2Y1
Tel: 519-426-3400   E: diane.finley@parl.gc.ca

4. Toby Barrett, our Provincial MP can be contacted as follows:

Tel: 1-800-963-8629  E. toby.barrett@pc.ola.org

5. Norfolk County staff who have interests in the future of agriculture in the area are listed as follows:

Ted Willey

Norfolk County Agriculture Partners
(519) 426-5870 ext. 1300

ted.willey@norfolkcounty.ca

Linda D’hondt-Crandon

Norfolk County Agriculture Advisory Council

(519) 426-5870 ext.1264

linda.dhondt-crandon@norfolkcounty.ca

Clark Hoskin

Manager, Tourism and Economic Development

(519) 426-5870 ext.1238

clark.hoskin@norfolkcounty.ca

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