Welcome to the Copeland Forest Stewardship Initiative
“Copeland Forest is an oasis, an escape from the hurried pace of life, filled with birdsong and the wonders of
nature and one of Simcoe County’s best kept secrets! We feel blessed to have it so close.” – local resident
Thumbnail photo of Northern Goshawk on homepage courtesy of Jerry Liguori
Rare Beauty in Our Midst
The Deep Woods of southern Ontario are all but gone.
Despite all of the scientific research that shows how valuable forest interior habitat is to us by providing pure air and cool, clear water; despite their well-documented contribution to human health both physically and mentally, these Deep Woods remnants of our natural heritage have ebbed away.
In just a few pockets, the Deep Woods are making their final, majestic stand, and Copeland Forest is one of those places.
When the Couchiching Conservancy first turned its attention to Copeland more than six years ago, we understood two things: This forest was a good candidate for being loved to death; and rallying the large community who enjoy Copeland for recreation offered the best chance of ensuring we can all continue to enjoy the Deep Woods of Copeland for years to come.
After three years of public meetings seeking input from all the users of Copeland Forest, what emerged as the single largest concern among the people of the Copeland Community? The Ecological Health of the Forest.
Copeland Forest is managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) as a resource management area. Now, thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a dedicated and diverse group of volunteers have coalesced to Steward Copeland Forest, and provide management advice to the MNR. A major four-season biological inventory has been completed, and a set of recommendations have been made to the MNR. With the Ministry’s backing, the group is now creating a stand-alone organization that will continue to Steward the forest into the future.
What is Land Stewardship?
Simply put, it is to care for the land. This involves conserving the ecological integrity of natural areas, using the land responsibly, and ensuring that other species and future generations are always taken into consideration.
Going forward, the Copeland Forest Stewardship Committee will:
- Become an Incorporated Non-Profit with an inclusive structure that ensures all user-groups are represented fairly while putting the ecological health of the forest first;
- Work with the MNR to set priorities for stewardship projects, and work with teams of volunteers to complete them;
- Act as a forum where diverse user groups can meet and work out collaborative solutions for forest use;
- Develop trail maps and signs to complement the extensive trail system in the forest.
If you would like to speak with us about the Copeland Forest and what you value about it most, please contact Dorthea Hangaard dorthea(at)couchconservancy.ca (705) 326-1620. Fill out the email form on the right and we will add you to our Copeland Forest mailing list, so you won’t miss any meetings or workshops.