- Created on Wednesday, 06 January 2016 17:49
Public submissions are due Monday January 18th, 2016.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) initiated the Moose Project to address declines in Ontario’s moose population.
On December 17th, 2015 MNRF put forward a proposal (EBR 012-6073) to weaken wolf and coyote protection.
Not only does this proposal fail to address moose declines, it continues to endanger at-risk eastern wolves living in central Ontario and encourages the unregulated slaughter of coyotes.
The proposed changes to wolf and coyote hunting regulations in Ontario lack scientific merit and serve to distract the public from the lack of concerted efforts to halt moose declines by prohibiting hunting until the reasons for the decline are fully understood.
- Created on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:57
There is no science to support that reducing the number of wolves in Ontario will boost moose populations.
Proposed wolf, coyote hunting rule changes may benefit moose population
Wolf hunters in Northern Ontario are getting what some would consider a Christmas gift from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
The ministry is proposing that wolves be legally hunted under a small game licence, removing the need for a game seal.
A spokesperson with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters told CBC News the move should make it easier for hunters to target the predator.
"They've eliminated the small financial burden that existed with respect to purchasing game seals, as well as some of the accessibility issues that are experienced in parts of northern Ontario, where a licence issuer could be hard to come by," Mark Ryckman said.
While OFAH supports the MNR proposal, as it should help control wolf predation on moose in the north, Ryckman said an annual harvest limit of two may not be enough to make an impact in areas of high wolf density.
"The idea is to create a benefit for moose populations, by reducing slightly [the] wolf populations in certain areas," he continued.
"Maintaining a two-wolf limit per hunter per year may not actually be sufficient to create a benefit for some moose populations."
But Ryckman concedes completely opening up the wolf and coyote harvest "would just look bad."
"It would seem like they (MNRF) don't care about wolves and coyotes," he said.
"That is not the case. I know they do manage them sustainably, and we support their management program in principle. There is certainly a concern about going too far."
The MNRF says the proposed changes will not happen until 2017.
- Created on Monday, 07 December 2015 16:13
For Immediate Release
Environmental groups applaud Advisory Panel for strong stance on protecting the region’s water
Toronto – Growing the Greenbelt into areas of critical ecological and hydrological significance were among key recommendations put forward by David Crombie, Chair of the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review Advisory Panel, this afternoon in their report “Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041.”
“We are thrilled to see that the Crombie Panel has recommended additional lands be added to the Greenbelt, focusing on vulnerable source water areas,” reported Joyce Chau, executive director of EcoSpark. “Ontarians were loud and clear that the protection of our water and natural systems needed to be elevated in areas beyond the Oak Ridges Moraine and adjoining the Greenbelt.”
- Created on Monday, 07 December 2015 15:36
Grassroots blockade against logging trucks north of Kenora, Ont. started on Dec. 2, 2002
By Jody Porter, CBC News
Grassy Narrows First Nation Deputy Chief Randy Fobister gives "great compliments" to the community organizers who have continued to turn away logging trucks since 2002. (freegrassy.net)
In the beginning, Randy Fobister of Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, disagreed with community members who were stopping logging trucks from entering their traditional territory, but 13 years later the deputy chief says "it's really important the blockade is still there."
A community gathering was held on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the blockade that started on Dec. 2, 2002.
People continue to maintain the site and "protect the land", Fobister said, even as the community considers whether blockade is the appropriate term for what they're doing. He also balks at the word 'activism'.
"I think that word protectors, you know protectors of the land," is preferred," he said. "The forest doesn't have a voice, but First Nations people are the voice."
- Created on Friday, 27 November 2015 22:57
Until Monday November 30th, you can submit your comments in opposition to the proposed reintroduction and expansion of the spring bear hunt HERE. Speak out with science to stop the spring bear hunt and end the cruel and unsportsmanlike baiting of bears once and for all.
1999, In the spring bear hunt was finally cancelled, saving the lives of thousands of hungry bears from being shot over bait piles after emerging from a winter without food. The hunt was cancelled to protect bear cubs from being orphaned when their mothers were accidentally and /or illegally killed.
In 2013, the spring bear hunt was reintroduced as an experiment ostensibly to reduce human-bear conflict. However, the government’s own science shows that human-bear conflict has nothing to do with the spring hunt. In reality, the number of nuisance bears increases when wild food crops - like berries and nuts – are unusually bad.
Following repeated budget cuts, the provincial Bear Wise program is no longer able to effectively engage northern communities to prevent conflict with bears in times of wild food shortages. Now the government has proposed an expansion and extension of the experimental Spring Bear Hunt for another 5 years in most of Ontario, with plans to allow trophy hunters from outside Ontario.
- Created on Tuesday, 17 November 2015 18:26
Photo Credit: Schorle
Ontario’s eastern wolves are a species of Special Concern. Scientists estimate that there are fewer than 500 individuals left, so why are they not better protected?
Eastern wolves residing in Algonquin Provincial Park and its adjacent townships have year-round protection from hunting and trapping. But wolves outside of those areas are not so lucky. With the exception of Algonquin Park, trappers are permitted to harvest eastern wolves in all provincial parks and conservation reserves.
Hybridization with coyotes also threatens the wolves. And since eastern wolves can only be distinguished from eastern coyotes through genetic analysis, hunters targeting coyotes can unwittingly kill wolves instead.
- Created on Saturday, 07 November 2015 00:12
"The environmental groups, which include Ontario Nature, Earthroots, EcoSpark and STORM, contend these areas are “critical to a healthy agricultural industry and biodiversity in the region.” They argue that adding them to the Greenbelt would ensure the protection of clean drinking water sources from suburban sprawl in the GTHA."
LUCAS OLENIUK / TORONTO STAR
The Little Rouge Creek winds through Rouge Park, which has been named a Canadian National Park.
By: Alex Ballingall
Greenbelt, meet “Bluebelt.”
That’s the vision of a collection of environmental groups that wants to almost double the size of the protected band of land around the Golden Horseshoe to include water systems such as the Oro Moraine and the Humber River headwaters.
The proposal calls for 1.5 million acres to be added to the 1.8 million-acre Greenbelt — already the biggest of its kind in the world — as the Liberal government continues a review of the protected zone that was mandated upon its creation 10 years ago.
Burkhard Mausberg, chief executive officer of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, said the proposal was created through consultations with conservation officers, scientists and environmental groups. It has been submitted to a provincial panel, headed by former Toronto mayor David Crombie, that is preparing recommendations for the future of the Greenbelt. A report is expected in the coming weeks.
“If we were to grow the Greenbelt,” Mausberg asked, “what should we look at? The uniform answer we got back was: Look at water resources. Look at drinking water sources, look at important watersheds, look at coast lines, look at rivers. In essence, make the Greenbelt the ‘Bluebelt.’”
- Created on Thursday, 29 October 2015 00:50
- Created on Monday, 26 October 2015 18:33
Ontario's 7,300 square-kilometre Greenbelt is undergoing a critical land use review that could determine the fate of one of Ontario's greatest environmental legacies.
When Ontario’s 7,300 square-kilometre Greenbelt was approved by then-Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty in 2005, reaction was mixed.
Some saw the protected space as the best defence against suburban sprawl and the gradual destruction of watersheds, forests, marshes and agricultural land in Canada’s most heavily populated area. Others worried the strict new rules would limit housing stock, jack up home prices and wipe out the nest egg farmers had built in the hope of selling their once-isolated farms to developers.
Now, 10 years after coming into force, the Greenbelt Plan—along with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe—is undergoing a co-ordinated land use planning review.
From March to May of this year, the province held regional town halls to solicit public feedback and encouraged municipalities, industries, regions and environmental groups to offer their thoughts on how to strengthen the existing plans.
Here’s why this matters.
- Created on Thursday, 22 October 2015 14:30
When governments pass laws that set out explicit requirements and timelines for action to be taken, you would expect that they’d be prepared to obey the law. Not so with Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA).
Under SARA, the federal government must decide whether to list a species within nine months of receiving its designation as at risk by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Yet about 150 designated species at risk are stuck in limbo awaiting listing decisions.
Until they are listed under SARA, species at risk fall outside the law and its safeguards. No recovery plans. No action plans. No management plans. No protection against harm to the species or its habitat.
In our view, these delays are unlawful.
- Created on Thursday, 08 October 2015 13:45
Earthroots has the perfect space for a two person team at a very reasonable rate of $500 per month (the two desk work space could be divided and rented separately). We are located in the heart of downtown Toronto at Richmond and Spadina.
What we are offering:
- shared work space in an open concept office with the great people at Earthroots
- access to all the amenities at 401 (rooftop garden, courtyard, meeting room that can be rented at a reasonable rate, the building also has a cafe)
- wifi, phone, 24 hour access to the office
- use of our common space that includes a kitchen area
- the adoration of our office cats Jake and Elwood!
401 Richmond is a vibrant community that is home to over 140 artists, non-profit organizations, cultural producers, micro-enterprises, galleries, festivals and shops. http://www.401richmond.net/events/specialEvents.cfm
- Created on Tuesday, 29 September 2015 13:59
By Tim Shuff
With a proposal to flatten his farm fields, a Mono farmer stepped squarely into the centre an environmental hornets’ nest.
When you look across Doug Cox’s farm from the corner of Mono Centre Road and 5th Line, all you see are gently rolling green fields, not the two gullies hiding in the back corner of the property. They’re not much bigger than a rural building lot, but these hollows are deep, steep and all but bare – a pox on the otherwise pastoral property, and a persistent stress on the mind and pocketbook of this sheep farmer.
The sandy slopes do not hold topsoil. Grass grows in thin patches. They’re too steep to work with machinery, and too dangerous for grazing sheep. The forest on the other side of the property line that cuts through the gullies hides opportunistic coyotes who steal ewes and lambs under the eyes of the patrolling sheepdogs. On a property that’s only 43 acres – small for a working farm – these seven acres sit idle.
So when someone came to Cox, 68, with the idea of filling them in, he was keen. After 35 years of living with these worthless hollows, he was enthused by the possibility of filling and grading them flat enough that he could work the land with machinery and grow hay. The plan would allow him to increase his sheep herd and make his farm more profitable. He would also net a payoff for taking the fill. All he needed was approval from Mono town council.
It was at that point Cox planted both feet squarely into a hornets’ nest of an issue that is bedevilling rural municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe – how to deal with the vast and increasing quantities of fill being generated by the region’s building boom.
- Created on Monday, 14 September 2015 22:01
Ground breaking case invokes Charter to protect First Nation community from toxic harm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto – Today the Grassy Narrows First Nation is filing legal proceedings against Ontario asking the Divisional Court to overturn provincial plans for a decade of clearcut logging on Grassy Narrows’ homeland.
This small Indigenous community fears that clearcut logging will release mercury into local waterways further poisoning local fish and people who already bear the burden of mercury that was dumped into their river by a paper mill in the 1960s. Grassy Narrows alleges that the logging plan will prolong and deepen the ongoing tragedy of mercury poisoning in their community and therefore violates their Charter rights to security and freedom from discrimination. This could become the first case to successfully use the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect people against harm and discrimination arising from environmental degradation.
“It saddens me that we are forced to fight in court to protect our children from the dangerous mercury impacts of clearcut logging,” said Grassy Narrow Chief Roger Fobister Sr. “I hope that the court will finally end Ontario’s long legacy of forcing harmful decisions on our families and our homeland.”
Scientific research indicates that clearcut logging in the boreal forest can raise mercury levels in local fish above the limit for safe human consumption. Many of the lakes in areas where logging will take place already faces fish consumption restrictions due to the past industrial dumping of mercury. Despite this evidence, Ontario refused Grassy Narrows’ request for an environmental assessment of the impacts of clearcut logging on the health of the community, its waterways, and its fish. The 1,200 plus page logging plan approved by Ontario does not even contain the word ‘mercury’.
After repeated attempts to convince Ontario to withdraw the clearcut logging plan, today Grassy Narrows commenced an application for judicial review in the Ontario Divisional Court. Among other things, the application asks the Court to overturn the government’s approval of the clearcut logging plan, and refusal to conduct an individual environmental assessment of the mercury impacts of the plan.
- Fall Public Consultations - Add Your Voice!
- Save Wolf Lake: Expedition 2 Recap - Summer 2015
- A native crisis by water – and mercury
- The Oak Ridges Moraine needs you - add your voice!
- Grassy Narrows: It’s not too late for the Ontario government to do the right thing
- Groups urge public involvement in review of Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt plans