- Created on Monday, 08 June 2009 15:53
On June 2nd, the government introduced a bill to enable protection and planning in Ontario’s Far North. The proposed Far North Act will guide the way as the province moves forward into the unchartered territory of co-ordinated land-use planning in Ontario’s Far North. The proposed Act is a good first step on the part of the Ontario government but Earthroots has concerns that there are some critical oversights.
- Created on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 16:21
Photo: CPAWS Wildlands League / T. Simonett
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has recently released the draft of its Caribou Conservation Plan (CCP), a requirement under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act (ESA). Earthroots has some major concerns with the province’s Plan. Although the document contains some high-level principles, it is missing essential aspects that are central to caribou conservation in Ontario.
The biggest issue with the draft is that it does not put an end to the single greatest threat to woodland caribou; the expansion of logging into intact habitat. Instead, the CCP has been placed in a forest management planning context that is allowing threats to caribou to be perpetuated. “Scientists have known for years that forestry activities like logging and road building pose direct threats to woodland caribou,” says Carly Armstrong Earthroots Northern Ontario campaigner. “Research has shown that they will not inhabit areas within 13km of roads. Yet, the province’s Plan allows for the continued expansion of roads and cut-blocks into some of the last remaining caribou habitat areas,” Armstrong adds. The draft comes as a major disappointment to Ontario’s environmental community, who have been working closely with the government throughout this process.
- Created on Friday, 17 April 2009 20:30
by Ainslie Willock, Cormorant Defenders International (CDI)
Over a period of five years, more than 171,000 cormorants have been killed and far too many have been wounded in a North American-wide government sanctioned massive and cruel cull.
Tommy Thompson Park, simply known as the “The Spit” to Torontonians, is the home of the largest colony of double-crested cormorants on the Great Lakes. The Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA), who manages the Spit, has chosen a responsible and thoughtful approach to managing the colony. Their 2009 management goal is to "achieve a balance between the continued existence of a healthy, thriving cormorant colony and the other ecological, educational, scientific and recreational values of Tommy Thompson Park".
- Created on Thursday, 19 March 2009 01:00
The final plan for the next phase of logging in Temagami (2009-2019) has been released and is available for public inspection until April 2nd, 2009.
Many key old growth areas are slated for logging and we need your voice to speak out for increased protection of Temagami's wilderness! Please click here to access our Temagami fax action centre or alternately you can use our template letter by clicking here if you prefer to send in your comments by mail. Please add your own comments to either the fax letter or our template letter to reflect your personal views before sending it to the Minister of Natural Resources.
Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) Update - Individuals and Groups Mobilizing Across the Country
- Created on Monday, 23 February 2009 15:28
Earthroots has been following the Federal government’s steps to make revisions to the 100+ year old Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA). The Federal government has attempted to slide these changes into its budget without public consultation or bringing the proposed revisions to table in parliament. This is an unprecedented move that has made allies out of former foes and has roused the concern of many, including environmentalists, recreational paddlers, northern communities, and anglers across the country.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable to propose such broad changes without consulting with the public,” says Earthroots campaigner Carly Armstrong. “The changes could take away an important part of our cultural heritage; our navigation rights on waterways across the country,” Armstrong adds. The changes also seek to sidestep essential regulative processes that safeguard the environment and ensure that development on waterways across the country do not inhibit the ability for fisheries productivity, public participation regarding development in their communities, or other environmental concerns.
- Created on Thursday, 19 February 2009 11:31
Toronto - Today, an alliance of environmental organizations rang the alarm about a series of dramatic changes the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) plans to make to the regulation of Ontario's forests. The alliance says that many of the 146 proposed changes will undermine the transparency and public oversight of forest management planning, while others threaten the sustainability of the forest.
Proposed revisions to the Forest Management Planning Manual, one of the Ontario's most important forest regulatory documents, will affect all aspects of forest management in the province for years to come. The revisions give insufficient direction on climate change, provide an inadequate definition of sustainability, and expedite the use of the forest for fuel without addressing the full range of environmental impacts. In addition, the new guidelines will reduce public participation, and the transparency of decision making.
- Created on Thursday, 12 February 2009 18:48
Wawa, Ontario - Local environmental advocates have been fighting a proposed quarry on the north eastern shore of Lake Superior for nearly a decade. The quarry, which will provide no more than 15 seasonal jobs to local citizens, will decimate a section of Superior’s coast that is part of a 300 km stretch of untouched coastline. The proponent of the project, a Michigan-based construction company, hopes to send material from the quarry across the great lake to provide highway building material. This section of coastline provides essential habitat to the endangered Peregrine Falcon, and refuge for threatened Woodland Caribou.
- Created on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 15:41
Concerned residents of Aurora, lawyer Rod Northey, and the environmental community have been seeking a consolidated hearing, bringing together the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) and the OMB. Having a consolidated hearing would increase the chances of seeing environmental considerations streamlined into planning decisions. A consolidated hearing is important in bringing all three approval layers together (Planning Act approval, Water Resources Act approval and Environmental Assessment approval). Furthermore, the presence of the ERT would be an incredibly valuable asset during the hearings, as this would mean that there would be a greater understanding and sensitivity to the preserving ecological and hydrological integrity.
- Created on Thursday, 05 February 2009 21:48
Earthroots joined Wildlands League, Forest Ethics, Greenpeace and Ontario Nature in retaining Ecojustice to appeal the Canadian Standards Association Sustainable Forest Management certification of Algonquin Forest Authority (AFA) operations.
Currently, only 22% of Algonquin Park is protected. The Ontario Parks Board has recommended the expansion of protected areas from 22% to 54% of the park. And even the Algonquin Forest Authority has recommended that an increase from 22% to 49% is completely possible!
In 1978, the Ministry of Natural Resources made the decision to ban commercial logging in most classes of Ontario’s parks (except for Algonquin). This move implies that the government believes this practice is not acceptable, and is unsustainable within our protected areas. Commercial forestry is completely at odds with the fundamental principles of Ontario’s parks and the recently enacted Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act.
- Created on Tuesday, 23 December 2008 11:09
The public has an opportunity to comment on a controversial proposal to shoot both whitetail deer and double-crested cormorants for the next 10 years at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Belleville, Ontario. The comment period ends on Monday December 29th, 2008.
To review the background documents, please visit http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/pres_planning.html
If this proposal is allowed to pass without public opposition, it could set the stage for other culls in the provincial parks system and/or establish indefinite culls. Ontario Parks, in their ‘screening’ document, have already stated that they anticipate little reaction for the proposed deer cull.
- Created on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 14:03
Ontario’s newest provincial park, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, is the largest protected area south of Algonquin Park. At nearly 39,000 hectares, it possesses a rich level of biodiversity and is home to many species at risk.
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is currently proposing a change to the regulations by broadening the scope of hunting in Kawartha Highlands through an increase in the number of species that can be hunted throughout the entire year. Since associated ATV (all terrain vehicle) use is permitted when hunting in Kawartha, this proposal could result in remote areas of the park being opened up. The new regulations contradict the notion of “balance” that was struck between stakeholder groups involved in the process.
- Created on Monday, 17 November 2008 05:47
Critical Caribou Habitat Logged Despite Commitment to Forest Protection in the North
The Ministry of Environment has decided to allow a controversial logging plan to proceed in caribou habitat despite the province's commitment to protect the northern boreal forest, and its species at risk, such as caribou. Environmental groups and individual citizens have requested that the Ministry of Environment conduct an Individual Environmental Assessment on logging in the Ogoki Forest, in order to determine the impact on caribou populations. The Ministry has decided to forego any environmental assessment, despite indication that logging could wipe out this species from the forest.
The Ogoki Forest, located in remote Northwestern Ontario, contains some of the province's last remaining intact habitat for the threatened Woodland Caribou. Several environmental groups have been strongly opposed to this plan as it calls for intensive road-building and logging in prime caribou habitat areas. Despite the groups' pleas and several months of discussions and consultations, the plan will now move ahead.
- Created on Thursday, 13 November 2008 16:00
Earthroots has joined with twenty-three environmental organizations in Ontario to develop a list of seven environmental priorities that the coalition will focus on for the next year. The priorities are all policy related initiatives that have been selected because the groups agree they are key to a more sustainable future in this province and real progress in each of these areas is achievable.
The groups, collectively known as Green Prosperity, are focusing on these seven issues as key factors that must be addressed in order to combat the current economic meltdown and the strong need for environmental action in Ontario. With each of the seven priorities comes job creation, economic stimulation and significant movement towards a more sustainable future for this province.
- Northern forests at risk
- Golf Courses in Southern Ontario: A Strain on the Moraine and Our Water Resources
- Report urges province to tighten tap on moraine
- Ontario's Water Hazard - the cumulative impact of golf courses on our water resources
- Take action to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine!
- Protecting Ontario's Northern Boreal Forest