December 2022 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 155 member groups and their members.
Donate Now buttonON Nature magazine
Nature Network News banner

December 2022 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 155 member groups and their supporters. Together, we are the voice for nature. Please share this monthly newsletter with members of your group.

Oak Ridges Moraine


Standing Strong

The provincial government’s onslaught of legislative and policy changes that will harm nature and democracy this fall has been intense. But we are continuing to speak up and we encourage you to do the same. Let’s keep the pressure on by sharing information through social media, writing letters to the editor, attending rallies, and contacting MPPs and Ministers. Thank you to everyone who has participated in our campaigns so far. Here are some of our collective accomplishments to date: Many Nature Network groups, partner organizations and individuals have really stepped up in this fight for nature. We are truly impressed and grateful for all you do. Here are some examples of what some Nature Network groups are doing:
NO to Bill 23


Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists

MPFN knows what people acting together can achieve when faced with harmful government decisions – we fought to save the Wye Marsh in the 1970s, to stop the Site 41 Dump in the 2000s, and now we turn our sights on Bill 23 and the province’s attack on wetlands and the Greenbelt.

Networking with Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, Just Recovery Simcoe and Ontario Nature’s Nature Network greatly strengthened our efforts. We organized joint rallies midway between two communities at the office of our MPP. Blustery winter conditions didn’t stop us from turning out in full force on two occasions. Supported by the booming drums of the Chigamik drum circle, we’re sure our MPP Jill Dunlop could hear us, wherever she was hiding! We also sent a submission to the legislative committee and forwarded it to her. We shared many posts and sent emails concerning this issue. 
Belleville Area Community Opposes Bill 23


Quinte Field Naturalists (QFN) and Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN)

To stop Bill 23, QFN and PECFN called and sent letters to MPPs and Ministers, and sent extensive submissions to the Environmental Registry and the Committee Hearings. On November 24, we held a rally against Bill 23 at the office of Minister of Energy and Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. The event brought out well over 200 people holding signs, signing petitions and sharing stories on how the Bill would impact the nature they love.

In response to the devastating news of the Bill's ratification and to push for amendments, a "Requiem for Our Quinte Wetlands" was held December 10. Protesters formed a procession carrying posters with the names of the 99 wetlands in the Quinte region threatened by Bill 23. The signs were placed in a mock cardboard casket and "interned" at the office door of MPP Todd Smith's with a note saying, "The fate of these wetlands and the life within, lie at your door."

Photo © Doug Knutson - Windswept Productions

Salmon River, Ontario


Friends of the Salmon River

We want the government to ensure there are environmental protections that help preserve our land and waterways for everyone’s benefit. Facing Bill 23, we: 

  • Sent letters to our two MPPs outlining our concerns
  • Circulated a media release to our regional papers
  • Made a submission to Environmental Registry of Ontario
  • Sent several ‘Take Actions’ to our outreach list
  • Sent new letters to our two MPPs
  • Presented at council meetings in our five municipalities about impacts of Bill 23, and how to work together toward environmental protections

Friends of Napanee River – whose watershed is beside us – has also taken many actions on Bill 23.

dancing loon in the wilderness

Conservation Awards Nominations Open

Do you know a conservation champion? A great way for us all to show appreciation for the people who do so much for us and for nature is to nominate them for an Ontario Nature Conservation Award. Our 2022-2023 Conservation Awards nominations are now open. Visit our website to read the details of the awards procedure and to take note of important dates. Nature Network groups qualify to submit nominations for conservation champions in their region.

Matchedash Bay wetlands

Giving Tuesday a Huge success for Wetlands

Thank you very much to everyone who donated to our Giving Tuesday campaign this year. We exceeded our goal of $30,000, raising an amazing $80,500! These funds will be used to protect Ontario’s wetlands, which are vital for conserving biodiversity and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Little Athelstane River

Mapping Designated Conservation Lands

There is a large opportunity to expand Ontario’s protected areas through Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified designated conservation lands (DCL). Forestry companies that manage FSC-certified forests must identify and set aside at least 10% of the forest. There are currently 147 of these sites totaling nearly 1 million hectares. Our Protected Places team is organizing maps of each DCL to share with regionally related member groups to increase awareness and gain more information about these sites. These maps will be shared in early spring of 2023. Stay tuned for more information!
a moose wandering in a snowy forest

Interesting Links and Opportunities

  • A new alliance of 125 diverse stakeholder groups is emerging to take on the Ontario Government's sprawl agenda and develop real Greenbelt-friendly solutions to the housing crisis. You are invited to sign their letter to Premier Ford and sign up for news from the Alliance.
  • Forests Ontario Annual Conference takes place from February 16 to 17
  • Save the date! Ontario Nature’s 92nd Annual Gathering and AGM is set for June 9–11, 2023, in beautiful Sudbury, the City of Lakes. Stay tuned for more details
  • Watch a recording of our recent webinar on Wetland Offsetting and Pelee Island Research
winter wren


See our events calendar for a complete listing of events organized by Ontario Nature and Nature Network groups. To submit your public events for the online calendar, send them to and allow up to a week for posting. Please send only events that are open to the public and no more than three per month.

Submit and Share!

We want to include more content from the network and will feature a story or two each month from network groups, as well as other resources. Please share your stories and links by emailing them to

Ontario Nature publishes the Nature Network News monthly with contributions from our member groups and staff. We grant permission for use of the information above in member group newsletters. Please credit either Ontario Nature or the member group when appropriate.

Twitter icon   Facebook icon   YouTube icon   LinkedIn icon   Blog icon   Instagram icon

Ontario Nature @ Centre for Social Innovation
720 Bathurst Street Toronto, Ontario M5S 2R4

Privacy Policy |  Unsubscribe |  Contact Us |
Charitable registration# 10737 8952 RR0001 

Photos © Kim Lowes, Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists, Doug Knutson - Windswept Productions, Friends of the Salmon River, Chris Johnston CC BY 2.0, Anne Bell, Kristen Setala, Gerry CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Dominic Sherony CC BY-SA 2.0