The Nature of the Economy
Don Ross is the president of the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, in eastern Ontario. But while involved with this one particular land trust, he would like to bring to your conference just how land trusts fit into any of the communities across Canada in which you work. Land trusts, sometimes called conservancies, directly protect natural spaces. We are trust funds, you might say, for the land you love. Don is a huge fan of true sustainable development – economy, society, culture and environment. And so he’d like to tell you why land in trust is very, very important to you – what’s in it for you, why you should care – and how your investment in land trusts can pay back, big time. And so let’s connect some dots.
We acknowledge that the landscape we work to conserve is the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnawbe.
About the Speaker
Don Ross comes from Canada’s southernmost town, Leamington. Graduating in natural science from the University of Western Ontario in 1973, be became the Chief Park Naturalist at Point Pelee National Park, then moved to the Thousand Islands in the 1976, as the Chief Park Naturalist for Thousand Islands National Park.
After a decade with Parks Canada, Don left in 1983, to own a successful retail sports store in Brockville. During those next two decades in business, Don helped found one of Ontario’s first Land Trusts, today’s Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, and remains very active there. He was one of four authors with the land trust for the nomination papers which lead to the 2002 designation of Canada’s 12th UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve—the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve.
Over the past two decades, Don wrote freelance for a woodworking magazine, Cottage Life, published three books, and wrote a number of cruising guides about the Thousand Islands and Rideau Canal – as well as various natural science research pieces.
Today, Don Ross is president of the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust. Over the past three decades the trust has conserved over 5,500 acres of key ecological lands, along the way doubling the size of Thousand Islands National Park, and enlarging Charleston Lake Provincial Park by a third. In spare time, Don restores antique boats, and sails, paddles and cruises the region’s waterways.
As the talk will explain, land trusts do more than protecting vital habitats. The services of nature are fundamental to economy and society - pillars of sustainable community development.