Group react to decision by Grey Highlands to develop former Talisman property
The grassroots group Friends of the Beaver Valley(FBV) and the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) say they're extremely disappointed to learn from a press release that the Municipality of Grey Highlands has accepted a conditional sale of the lands they own on the former Talisman site which encompasses about 135 acres in total.
EBC and FBV presented their interest in the properties for recreation and ecological preservation in a special public meeting to Grey Highlands Council on Friday May 21, 2021 and with a follow up Letter of Intent. EBC has also prepared a conditional offer for the same lands that they have been trying to present to staff since July 12, 2021.
Dr. Mary Ferguson a member of FBV from the beginning states, “It is unfortunate that Council has made this conditional deal, but we are still committed to rallying our support and presenting our offer with a unique collaborative approach to preserve this much loved UNESCO heritage site into perpetuity for all in Grey Highlands and the province.”
Over 600 people signed a petition supporting the vision of the grassroots group Friends of the Beaver Valley for The old Talisman Resort lands. From the FBV Principles, “We wish to see [the Talisman lands] managed as a nature reserve-- respecting its diverse and fragile ecosystem-- by creating a coalition of conservation bodies, community-based entrepreneurs, educators, organizations and individuals [with] land use decisions based on clearly defined, transparent principles, be long-term and evolutionary in its planning time frame, and maintain public control through a locally-grounded, innovative non-profit development model.”
The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy is a well respected land and wildlife preservation non profit group in Ontario shepherding over 17 000 Acres of nature reserves, protecting 64 species of conservation concern and creating 80 km of hiking and walking trails. EBC proposes a collaborative approach to sustainable management of the lands with the Municipality for the economic benefit of Grey Highlands, climate change and the local community.