The Highland Companies Quarry
BACKGROUND ON THE HIGHLAND COMPANIES QUARRY
The Highland Companies, represented by John Lowndes, is owned by a holding company called Baupost out of Boston. It has recently undertaken a land assembly of well over 8,000 acres of prime agricultural land in and around Horning Mills, Honeywood, Redickville and other parts of Melancthon and Mulmur Townships.
Much of this prime agricultural land (which supplies 50% of the potatoes consumed by the GTA each year) sits atop of a significant limestone deposit, as well as an important water recharge area that feeds the Nottawasaga and Grand River systems.
The company has demolished approximately 25 homesteads, together with farm structures, forests and fencerows that once stood on many of these properties, some of which have been part of the fabric of this community for over a century.
The Highland Companies continues to make offers to remaining landowners nearby, many of which have no alternative but to sell. These residents are rightfully worried about the future viability of farming on their lands on account of the adverse impacts on the water table resulting from construction of this mega quarry.
In a letter dated June 24, 2009, to the Township of Melancthon planner, The Highland Companies advised that it would be filing an application shortly (anticipated to be within 3 to 6 months from that date) for a rezoning and aggregate license covering some 2,400 acres in the Township of Melancthon, for the extraction of limestone some 200 feet below the water table.
The North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Task Force, Inc. (NDACT) has been formed to oppose the development of this quarry.,Their overarching goal is the preservation and protection of prime potato land (a unique agricultural resource) and the aquifers feeding Melancthon, Mulmur and the headwaters of the Nottawasaga and Grand Rivers. At the Annual General Meeting of CORE held July 4, 2009, NDACT made a presentation.
As a result of this presentation, and on the basis of a Motion adopted by the substantial majority of those present, CORE is actively supporting NDACT, as this mega-quarry, IF it were to be approved, could have significant negative impacts on fish habitats, wells and water resources in Mulmur. CORE is working with NDACT and at the same time independently undertaking whatever steps are deemed necessary to ensure that the interests of Mulmur residents are protected.
NDACT’s website, www.ndact.com is constantly updated with information and recent activities on these issues.