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Landowners attend tree planting workshop in Simcoe

Thursday, November 13th 2008 4:58:35pm

MEDIA RELEASE

Growing Interest in Tree Planting for Tax Breaks and to Fight Climate

Landowners attend tree planting workshop in Simcoe

Simcoe, November 12 - There is a growing interest in tree planting, as evidenced last night when 54 local landowners attended a community workshop to learn how tree planting can fight climate change and lower their property taxes.

This is one in a series of 13 workshops being held across the province this fall by Trees Ontario and its partners. Trees Ontario, the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) and Long Point Region Conservation Authority, presented information from forestry experts on subsidy programs available related to good forestry practices and how to plant trees and reduce costs.

Attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources' 50 Million Tree Program, which provides significant financial incentives to eligible landowners.

Announced in August 2007 by Premier McGuinty, The 50 Million Tree Program is part of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign, and will plant 50 million new trees in Ontario by 2020.

"The fall series of workshops is an excellent way for our planting partners to network with landowners about their programs and eligibility requirements," said Michael Scott, President and CEO, Trees Ontario. "There are several financial incentive programs available to help landowners reduce costs and allow our partners to rejuvenate the tree planting infrastructure. They range from $0.10/tree to as high as $1.25/tree, which can reduce the cost to the landowner to as low as $0.15, depending on the size of their land and the number of trees planted," he explained.

In addition, the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), introduced by the Ontario government in 1998 and administered by the OFA, can provide significant property tax reductions for landowners who own 10 acres or more of forested land. Eligible landowners work with a plan approver 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 for a period of 10 years.

Additional landowner workshops will be hosted by Trees Ontario, the Ontario Forestry Association and local partners across the province through to mid November. Workshop dates and locations are available at www.treesontario.on.ca.

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For more information contact:
Elissa Schmidt, Manager of Communications, Trees Ontario
tel: 1-877-646-1193   email: elissas(at)treesontario.on.ca      
        
                                                      
Trees Ontario

Trees Ontario, working with its partners, is the largest, not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America. It is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through a range of tree planting activities. Trees Ontario is also partnering with the Ministry of Natural Resources to help deliver the Ontario government's commitment to plant 50 million trees by 2020.

The goal of Trees Ontario is to restore the province's tree planting capacity, especially throughout southern Ontario on private lands, by providing funding and planning support for its tree planting partners. These include local Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship Councils, municipal governments and community volunteer groups.  

This past spring Trees Ontario, with its partners, planted over 2.4 million trees. Its goal is to increase tree planting to 10 million trees every year by 2015. Visit the Trees Ontario website at www.treesontario.on.ca.

Ontario Forestry Association

The Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) is a non-profit, registered charity. It is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of all aspects of Ontario's forests, and to develop commitment to stewardship of forest ecosystems. The OFA has been involved in public education around forestry and environmental issues since the 1940s. Over the years they have been involved in major initiatives involving restoration, commemoration and the management of our forests and natural environment. To this day, they continue to increase public education and knowledge of forestry and environmental issues. Visit the OFA website at www.oforest.on.ca.

50 Million Tree Program

In August 2007, the Ontario government introduced a program to fund the planting of 50 million trees across the province by 2020, as part of its commitment to help fight climate change and green the province.

The 50 Million Tree Program is Ontario's commitment to the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.

All kinds of good can come from setting this goal: like offsetting carbon; diversifying Ontario's landscape; moderating local climates by providing shade, moderating temperature extremes and reducing the effects of storms; creating more habitats for wildlife; improving soil and water conservation; and boosting local economic opportunities - to name just a few.

The 50 Million Tree Program can significantly cut landowners' costs of large-scale tree planting and boost the number of trees planted.

Working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and its tree-planting partners, Trees Ontario will plant two million trees over the next year as part of this program.