Skip to content

Grey Highlands reluctant about joining turtle protection plan

Without expertise on turtle conservation, Grey Highlands officials reluctant to be involved in turtle conservation efforts
USED Ottawa 4 - Turtle at Mud Lake (Photo credit - Janet Stephens)
Turtle at Mud Lake

The Municipality of Grey Highlands will not be leading a turtle protection plan in the community.

At its meeting on May 15, Grey Highlands council received a staff report for information about plans by a local group to form to promote the protection and conservation of local turtle populations.

In March, local resident Dave Meslin made a presentation to council about efforts to start a turtle conservation group in the community. He asked that the municipality help the group with various tasks including: identifying turtle location hot spots, installing turtle cautionary signage, installing turtle nest cages within the right-of-way and training volunteers for turtle crossing guards.

At the time, council requested a staff report on the matter with more information. The staff report stated that municipal staff don’t have the expertise on turtles to effectively be involved in turtle protection activities.

“The consensus with staff is this is not a municipal mandate. It’s not in our lane,” said CAO Karen Govan.

In the report, staff suggested the municipality participate in turtle protection by sharing information on its website and social media channels and recommended the local group contact leading conservation organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre and Ontario Wildlife Foundation for further information.

Coun. Joel Loughead said he hoped there was more the municipality could do to help.

“It’s an interesting initiative. It’s an important initiative. I’d hate to see this shelved here. I’m wondering what we can do to help this process advance,” said Loughead.

Govan said the local turtle group is free to continue to work on an ad hoc basis and was welcome to return to council in the future as a delegation with recommendations about turtle conservation that the municipality could consider.

Reader Feedback

About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more