Forests Ontario

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MNR’s 50 Million Tree Program Increases Workshop Attendance

Owen Sound, ON – February 20, 2008 – Yesterday, local landowners attended a workshop at the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority to learn about tree planting, at one of a series of 12 workshops being held across the province by Trees Ontario.

Trees Ontario, with its partners, the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) and the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, presented information from tree planting experts on how to plant trees and reduce costs, while helping to protect the environment.

“We are seeing a significant increase in attendance at these workshops over the last year,” said Michael Scott, President and CEO, Trees Ontario. “This is important, because we need to get more trees in the ground if we are to help reduce our environmental footprint, reduce the effects of greenhouse gases and improve the quality of our air.”

Part of this increased attendance is due to the introduction of a new incentive program recently announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources, called the 50 Million Tree Program. As part of its commitment to reduce the effects of climate change, the Ontario government has joined the United Nations Billion Tree Program and plans to plant 50 million trees by 2025, the single largest commitment so far to the UN program.

“This is the single largest tree planting commitment we have seen in Ontario in a very long time,” said Michael Scott. “This program will allow our partners to rejuvenate the tree planting infrastructure, and will provide a significant subsidy to eligible property owners – $1.25 a tree. Other incentive programs available to help landowners reduce costs range from $0.10/tree to $0.50/tree, depending on the size of their property and the number of trees planted,” he explained.

In addition, the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) can provide significant property tax reductions for landowners who satisfy certain basic criteria such as having over 10 acres of forested land and a willingness to prepare and follow a forest management plan. Upon acceptance into the program, the forested portion of the property is reassessed as managed forest and taxed at a reduced rate the following year.