Latest News

Offsite Development Seeks to Drain the Moraine

A massive proposed development in Fraserville, Peterborough County, has exposed a dangerous loophole in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP); it appears that developments outside of the Moraine’s boundaries can by-pass protection and pipe water from within protected areas of the Moraine to service their water needs.  The Fraserville development would involve an expansion to the OLG Slots Casino at Kawartha Downs, 684 residential units, a new golf course with club house and additional residential units, an entertainment complex, hotel, recreation centre, community centre, big box stores, auto-dealerships, and the list goes on.

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Temagami's ancient forests are at risk!

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. 

 

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Golf Courses in Southern Ontario: A Strain on the Moraine and Our Water Resources

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Due to the growing popularity of golf, a number of courses have sprouted up across Southern Ontario over the past few decades.  These courses are now speckled across Ontario’s Greenbelt and sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, areas the province has finally agreed to protect.  While golf courses may have a façade of ‘greenness’ due to their appearance, the reality is that maintaining unnaturally-short, perfect green grass on such large areas requires staggering amounts of groundwater, alongside a slough of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

As part of a coalition of conservation groups, concerned citizens, and municipal leaders that pushed for the creation of Ontario’s Greenbelt and protection for the Oak Ridges Moraine, Earthroots is extremely concerned about the environmental impacts that golf courses are having on these allegedly ‘protected’ areas.  Golf courses are allowed on the vast majority of the Greenbelt, including a large portion of the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Due to our concerns, Earthroots has formed a partnership with Ecojustice, formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund, to begin researching the actual impacts golf courses are having on these sensitive areas.  Unfortunately, because Ontario golf courses are only monitored through self-reporting and evaluation, it is extremely difficult to find any information regarding actual water takings, pesticide and other chemical use, or the environmental impacts of these activities.

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Take action to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine!


Proposed Development in Aurora Threatens Integrity of Oak Ridges Moraine Protection

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The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act (ORMCA) and the Greenbelt Act came to fruition after years of steadfast lobbying from determined environmentalists, concerned citizens, and members of municipal government.  Both the ORMCA and the Greenbelt Act are highly lauded pieces of legislation that symbolize important strides in the right direction by affording more protection of valuable greenspace.

The Ontario Provincial Government has received acclaim for their initiatives to tackle the serious issue of urban sprawl in Southern Ontario.  The government has done an admirable job of promoting the Greenbelt by putting up signs along the highway which inform drivers when they are crossing into the boundaries of the Belt.  They have also produced informative guides illustrating the importance of supporting local farmers and the diverse range of food options the Greenbelt provides.  However, now that a couple of years have passed and the celebrations have died down, what is actually happening on the ground?

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Help Earthroots curb urban sprawl in southern Ontario

Make your voice heard at Queen’s Park!

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Pickering Airport and Seaton Lands Issue Resurfaces!

Pickering Airport: Threat to Greenspace
In the 1970's, the government expropriated over 18,000 hectares of land in North Pickering to build a new airport and city (Seaton). These plans met strong opposition and were defeated by citizens who were concerned about the implications of paving over prime greenspace for an unnecessary new development and airport. Approximately 12,000 hectares of this land are still publicly owned, and 3,000 hectares were resold to farmers to form the Duffins Agricultural Preserve. Now, over 30 years later, plans to build a new airport and housing development are once again being pushed forward at an alarming pace, putting key greenspace, prime agricultural land, natural heritage properties, and wildlife habitat at risk.

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Caribou's Survival Uncertain

Speak out for the protection of Ontario's Ogoki Forest and Woodland Caribou

The final Forest Management Plan (FMP) for the Ogoki Forest was released by the Ministry of Natural Resources on March 11, 2008. Unfortunately, the plan has failed to take into account public concerns, and offers no substantive protection for Woodland Caribou. Located in remote north-western Ontario, the Ogoki Forest contains old-growth pine and spruce trees, carbon-storing bogs, and pristine lakes used by caribou for calving. However, the Forest Management Plan for Ogoki will cut thousands of hectares of old-growth forest and punch in a series of roads into wilderness areas. In Independent Forest Audit of Ogoki, commissioned by the Ontario government, predicts that caribou habitat will decline by nearly 60% over the next hundred years if logging goes ahead according to plan.

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Ontario's Northern Boreal Forest - one of the world's last remaining pristine forests.

Reaching across North America and into Russia, the Boreal Forest forms a “green halo” across the top of the globe and is even larger than the Amazonian Rainforest. Ontario has a significant portion of Canada’s Boreal Forest, which is characterized by large tracts of old-growth White and Black spruce, Jack pine and Balsam fir. North of an imaginary line along the 51st parallel, Ontario’s Boreal Forest is largely intact, meaning it has not yet been destroyed by human activity.

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Vote for the Environment

The polls have shown that the environment is at the top of the list of Canadians’ concerns these days and there is no better time to have your voice heard than during an election.  One of the most important things we can do to help protect the environment is to vote for a Prime Minister who is going to be a strong leader, ready to tackle today’s complex environmental issues.

Earthroots knows it is sometimes difficult to tell the green from the grey when it comes to politicians who claim to be environmentalists; it has become even more tricky to distinguish a well-put but ultimately hollow campaign promise from a genuine interest in protecting the environment.  We’ve found that the easiest way to gain perspective on just where our politicians stand is to ask them directly what their views are on particular environmental issues.

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Stop Logging in Algonquin Park!

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It is time to take action for Algonquin Park!

Please take a few moments to tell Premier McGuinty how important Algonquin Park is to you - visit our action centre now. Remember to change our template letter to reflect your personal concerns - this will carry a lot more weight with the decision makers in our government.

Only one of Ontario's 600+ protected areas - Algonquin Park - is still being logged.  The majority of people in the province oppose logging in protected areas, however most are not even aware that logging is allowed in Algonquin.

Algonquin is Canada’s oldest provincial park and draws people from all over the world to experience the natural wonders that the region has to offer.  Approximately 1.1 million people now visit the park annually.  As a result of this dramatic increase in the number of visitors to Algonquin, the Ontario Parks Board investigated ways to reduce the human impacts in the park in order to better preserve the area.

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