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Ontario Municipal Board decision saves Blanding’s Turtle habitat on Stoney Lake

Two Provincially Significant Wetlands and 6.2 km Undeveloped Shoreline Protected

 

Earthroots congratulates Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and Chair of Earthroots, David Donnelly, Friends of Fraser Wetlands and Curve Lake First Nation on this significant environmental victory!

 

Blanding's Turtle, a threatened species

 

PETERBOROUGH—The last significant undeveloped shoreline in the Kawarthas has been saved from a 58-unit housing development on Stoney Lake, immediately adjacent to Burleigh Falls.

The Vancouver-based developer Burleigh Bay Corporation (BBC) had planned to build the community, plus 72-slip marina, fitness facility, clubhouse, guest cottages, swimming pool, parking lots and internal roadway system in two provincially significant wetlands (PSW), containing the habitat of the “Threatened” Blanding’s turtle and muskellunge.

“We’re elated. This gives the Kawarthas a breathtaking opportunity to preserve an extraordinary natural setting that can’t be replaced,” said Heather Brooks-Hill, a third-generation Stoney Lake resident and Director of the Friends of Fraser Wetlands (FFW).

The Board cited the location of the development in and around the PSWs as one of the most “compelling” reasons for denying approval.  The Decision endorses the testimony of FFW expert Mr. Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, who testified that wetland complexes must be afforded a higher degree of protection and cannot be isolated.  The Board held, “As Mr. Miller stated, ‘the stakes are high’ given the significance of endangered species, a complex ecological system of entwined elements and functions and highly sensitive wetlands” on the site.

The site is believed to contain over 450 different species, a number of which are endangered or threatened.  The Board also accepted FFW’s expert Mr. D. Janus’ opinion that 95% of the site is habitat for the Blanding’s turtle, a threatened species.

Read the full article in Anishinabek News.