What is Black Ash and why is it endangered?
Black Ash is a medium-sized, shade-intolerant hardwood tree species that occurs on moist to wet sites such as swamps, bogs, and riparian areas. While Black Ash is still relatively common throughout Ontario, declines are based on significant damage and death that has occurred in areas affected by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Black ash is classified as endangered in Ontario based on projected declines in the total number of individuals of greater than 70% over the next 100 years (2 generations). Currently, 53% of the Ontario range is considered susceptible to EAB, and 78.16 – 99.98% of the Ontario range could be affected over the next two generations due to climate change.
What is the Ministry proposing?
When a species is added to the Species at Risk List, it and its habitat must be protected. The Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) is proposing a wait period of two years from the time it is added to the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) list until it cannot be harvested any longer. Because black ash is an important and widespread species, changes to the Act would affect forestry, development, infrastructure, agriculture as well as Indigenous considerations. Black ash is used for tool handles, furniture, woven baskets and paneling, among others.
During the 2-year period, they will gather scientific and socioeconomic information to offer a customized protection to the black ash.
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