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Moving Forward, or Backward Thinking? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 28, 2014 at 03:00 AM

 

   MOVING FORWARD, OR IS IT BACKWARD THINKING? 

                            Thursday, November 27, 2014                                      

 
A recent letter to the editor that has appeared in several local newspapers regarding wind energy is just another example of the ill-informed ignoring the damage this so-called “green energy” does to the biodiversity that sustains us as a human race. That birds are not “stupid” and “can see turbines” and will avoid them, may not be the most absurd statement I have read in support of wind turbines, but it is clearly among the top two. Even those in support of this form of energy are better informed than that.
 
Then, to follow it up by claiming there is “no evidence of wholesale slaughter of birds by wind turbines” simply boggles the mind. How does this author explain TransAlta’s turbine project on Wolfe Island which has caused the highest mortality rate of birds and bats in North America, with the exception of Altamont pass in California and,  and has displaced the indigenous and wintering Red Tail Hawk and Short Eared Owl populations? Even supporters of wind energy are in agreement that wind turbines do kill wildlife; the question is how much do supporters of wind energy really care, and how much importance do they place on biodiversity being critical to our own survival? And the mindless claim that cats kill more birds is getting a little tired.
 
President of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) , Myrna Wood of Picton, provides some sobering statistics. The Evening Grosbeak, she reports, is one of Canada’s declining species.  It has declined 78% in the last 40 years.  Other examples of species decline: our iconic Canada Warbler: 80%; Rusty Blackbird: 90%; Olive-sided Flycatcher 79%; Bay-breasted Warbler 70%.  Populations of  vertebrate species, including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have fallen on average by 52 percent since 1970. 
 
The root cause of these decimations is simple - loss of habitat, she says. “This loss of habitat and the species they support is a crisis for our planet. Not only do we humans urgently need to stop the use of fossil fuels, we also need to urgently move to conserve the habitats of our remaining wildlife.
 
“In order to stop fossil fuel use we must implement conservation by investing in retrofitting all 19th-20th century technology in our buildings and vehicles and begin to build alternative sources of power.  It is imperative that these new developments be sited in places that we humans have already removed from nature in order to preserve the scarce wildlife lands that remain.  New developments should not be sited in land that functions as significant habitat for wild species.”
 
Make no mistake; our undeveloped wild places play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.  Forests and wetlands sequester carbon keeping it out of the atmosphere, while tall grass prairies actually remove carbon from it. Wetlands prevent flooding and erosion and replenish our aquifers. Alvars and other seasonal wetland habitats filter contaminants, keeping them out of our streams and lakes. What allows these invaluable habitats to mitigate climate change are the wild species they support. Without these wild species, they will no longer function. Eventually they will cease to exist at all. The undeveloped south shore is therefore critical in protecting undisturbed habitat. Ontario has more than 6,000 wind turbines built, planned or proposed, the majority in Southwestern Ontario. Turbines generate only about 4% of the province’s power. Contrary to what some apparently think, the nine turbines at Ostrander Point will not save the world, but they will put lots of “green” into the pockets of the developers. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
 
PECFN has raised almost $200,000 to pay the legal costs of these appeals against Gilead Power, the Ministry of Environment and the 291 corporations of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWea).  The  support of Field Naturalist clubs and concerned citizens from all parts of Ontario is needed because the work they are doing will affect environmental law for the Province and the County.  Donations may be made online at www.saveostranderpoint.org  or by cheque to Ostrander Point Appeal Fund, 2-59 King St, Picton K0K 2T0.
 
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) is appealing the Ostrander Point Crown Land wind project at the highest Court in Ontario. The hearing will occur at Osgoode Hall Dec 8-9.  Ostrander Point Crown Land is situated in an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) - a refuge for migrating birds, bats and butterflies - it contains provincially significant wetlands, globally imperilled Alvar habitat and is the home and breeding ground of several avian, reptilian and amphibian species at risk, such as the Blanding’s turtle. 
 
At present, says Myrna Wood, the Divisional Court’s ruling on Ostrander Point undercuts the ability of the Environmental Review Tribunal to make decisions based on the evidence before it. PECFN’s appeal of the Divisional Court ruling is a precedent setting case that impacts the validity of the Environmental Review Tribunal, the Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Act.  As such it will affect environmental law across Ontario. As Justice Blair, who granted a stay against any construction on the site said, “the issues raised on the proposed appeal are issues of broad public implication in the field of environmental law”.

 

Moving Forward, or Backward Thinking? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 26, 2014 at 03:00 AM

 

   MOVING FORWARD, OR IS IT BACKWARD THINKING? 

                              Wednesday, November 26, 2014                                      

 
A recent letter to the editor that has appeared in several local newspapers down our way regarding wind energy is just another example of the ill-informed ignoring the damage this so-called “green energy” does to the biodiversity that sustains us as a human race. That birds are not “stupid” and “can see turbines” and will avoid them, may not be the most absurd statement I have read in support of wind turbines, but it is clearly among the top two. Even those in support of this form of energy are better informed than that.
 
Then, to follow it up by claiming there is “no evidence of wholesale slaughter of birds by wind turbines” simply boggles the mind. How does this author explain TransAlta’s turbine project on Wolfe Island which has caused the highest mortality rate of birds and bats in North America, with the exception of Altamont pass in California and,  and has displaced the indigenous and wintering Red Tail Hawk and Short Eared Owl populations? Even supporters of wind energy are in agreement that wind turbines do kill wildlife; the question is how much do supporters of wind energy really care, and how much importance do they place on biodiversity being critical to our own survival? And the mindless claim that cats kill more birds is getting a little tired.
 
President of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN), Myrna Wood of Picton, provides some sobering statistics. The Evening Grosbeak, she reports, is one of Canada’s declining species.  It has declined 78% in the last 40 years.  Other examples of species decline: our iconic Canada Warbler: 80%; Rusty Blackbird: 90%; Olive-sided Flycatcher 79%; Bay-breasted Warbler 70%.  Populations of  vertebrate species, including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have fallen on average by 52 percent since 1970. 
 
The root cause of these decimations is simple - loss of habitat, she says. “This loss of habitat and the species they support is a crisis for our planet. Not only do we humans urgently need to stop the use of fossil fuels, we also need to urgently move to conserve the habitats of our remaining wildlife.
 
“In order to stop fossil fuel use we must implement conservation by investing in retrofitting all 19th-20th century technology in our buildings and vehicles and begin to build alternative sources of power.  It is imperative that these new developments be sited in places that we humans have already removed from nature in order to preserve the scarce wildlife lands that remain.  New developments should not be sited in land that functions as significant habitat for wild species.”
 
Make no mistake; our undeveloped wild places play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.  Forests and wetlands sequester carbon keeping it out of the atmosphere, while tall grass prairies actually remove carbon from it. Wetlands prevent flooding and erosion and replenish our aquifers. Alvars and other seasonal wetland habitats filter contaminants, keeping them out of our streams and lakes. What allows these invaluable habitats to mitigate climate change are the wild species they support. Without these wild species, they will no longer function. Eventually they will cease to exist at all. The undeveloped south shore is therefore critical in protecting undisturbed habitat. Ontario has more than 6,000 wind turbines built, planned or proposed, the majority in Southwestern Ontario. Turbines generate only about 4% of the province’s power. Contrary to what some apparently think, the nine turbines at Ostrander Point along Prince Edward County’s south shore will not save the world, but they will put lots of “green” into the pockets of the developers. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
 
PECFN has raised almost $200,000 to pay the legal costs of these appeals against Gilead Power, the Ministry of Environment and the 291 corporations of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWea).  The support of Field Naturalist clubs and concerned citizens from all parts of Ontario is needed because the work they are doing will affect environmental law for the Province and the County.  Donations may be made online at www.saveostranderpoint.org   or by cheque to Ostrander Point Appeal Fund, 2-59 King St, Picton K0K 2T0.
 
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) is appealing the Ostrander Point Crown Land wind project at the highest Court in Ontario. The hearing will occur at Osgoode Hall Dec 8-9.  Ostrander Point Crown Land is situated in an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) - a refuge for migrating birds, bats and butterflies - it contains provincially significant wetlands, globally imperilled Alvar habitat and is the home and breeding ground of several avian, reptilian and amphibian species at risk, such as the Blanding’s turtle. 
 
At present, says Myrna Wood, the Divisional Court’s ruling on Ostrander Point undercuts the ability of the Environmental Review Tribunal to make decisions based on the evidence before it. PECFN’s appeal of the Divisional Court ruling is a precedent setting case that impacts the validity of the Environmental Review Tribunal, the Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Act.  As such it will affect environmental law across Ontario. As Justice Blair, who granted a stay against any construction on the site said, “the issues raised on the proposed appeal are issues of broad public implication in the field of environmental law”.
 

 

Quinte Field Naturalists PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 24, 2014 at 03:00 AM
Q.F.N. logoThe Quinte Field Naturalists Association, an affiliate of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists is non-profit organization sponsoring nature education, conservation and research. It was founded in 1949 and incorporated in 1990, and encompasses the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward. The Quinte Field Naturalists Association is legally entitled to hold real estate and accept bequests

Outing with Dr. Irwin Brodo. Photo by John Wilson In 1949, a small group of birdwatchers got together and decided that the Belleville area needed a naturalists club. Unlike today, there were very few nature clubs in Ontario, and those that did exist, were all located in major cities of the province. The keen interest of the fe members remained, and the newly formed "Brown Thrasher Club" made it through those early years to become the group that it is today, and the name was eventually changed to the present Quinte Field Naturalists.

Today, the group is made up of naturalists interested in a wide variety of natural history subjects, from birds and insects to plants, and even astronomy.

* for information on our next meeting, and to read the monthly newsletter,  please scroll down further on this page *


Quinte Field Naturalists Executive 

  • President: George Thomson   613-478-3205
  • Past President: Wendy Turner 613-966-1518
  • Vice-President: Phil Martin 613-395-3246
  • Corresponding Secretary: Elizabeth Churcher  613-478-3205
  • Recording Secretary: Bernadette Hymus
  • Treasurer: Douglas Newfield  613-477-3066
  • Environmental Officer & Publicity: Denice Wilkins  613-478-5070
  • Outings & Newsletter: John Blaney  613-962-9337
  • Membership & Mailing: Marge Fisher  613-968-3277
  • Newsletter: John Blaney  613-962-9337
  • Social Convener: Sharron Blaney  613-962-9337

 

Projects

  • maintain a web page on the NatureStuff website
  • publish a newsletter, The Quinte Naturalist
  • provide financial support to worthwhile programs
  • participate in volunteer programs and events like the Marsh Monitoring Program, Loggerhead Shrike Monitoring, and the Baillie Birdathon 
  • attend regular regional Ontario Nature meetings
  • hold seven meetings a year with guest speakers on current topics of interest
  • organize outings to local sites to observe nature
  • conduct the annual Christmas Bird Count

 Membership

Single:  $25.00, $40 a couple    

Contact the Q.F.N. treasurer Doug Newfield at:
161 Thrasher Road, R.R. # 1, Plainfield, Ontario  K0K 2V0 
Telephone:  613-477-3066     E-mail:

Memberships begin in January of each year

A QFN Membership offers:

Hike with Dr. Irwin Brodo. Photo by John Wilson- Monthly Meetings (Sept. - Apr. ) with stimulating speakers, challenging nature quizzes, friendly conversation and refreshments.

- Colourful, Informative Newsletter ( Sept. - Apr. ) outlining events and featuring articles on the flora and fauna of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties and local environmental concerns. * Now online! * (see below)

- Periodic Field Trips with an experienced leader to observe and learn more about birds, wildflowers and other natural wonders. Destinations are mostly local but may be as far afield as Algonquin Provincial Park. Night-time owling is an adventure not to be missed.

- An Opportunity to Spend Time with Others who share an appreciation for all aspects of the natural world and a love of the outdoors regardless of the season.


Meetings 



Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of every month from September through April in the Sills Auditorium at the Bridge Street United Church in Belleville


Our Next Meeting ! !

Blue-fronted Dancer. Photo by Ian DickinsonSpeaker: Robert Ferguson

Topic: Close Encounters with Damsels and Darners

Date: Monday, November 24, 2014

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Sills Auditorium, Bridge Street United Church, Belleville

Hastings County has a diverse dragonfly community comprising over 100 different species. Few of us have witnessed firsthand the amazing diversity of colours and patterns that our dragonfly neighbours exhibit. Robert Ferguson, a retired Wildlife Biologist, uses digital photography to capture the intriguing beauty of these fascinating, predatory insects. His detailed photographs provide an intimate look inside the colourful world of dragonflies.
 
Looking ahead to upcoming Meetings
 
Jan. 26: Pamela Stagg, A Walk on the Wet Side (Danforth Road Wetland)
Feb. 23: Ewa Bednarczuk Natural Wonders of the Trent River Valley
Mar. 23: Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, Saving our Living Dinosaurs
Apr. 27: Terry Sprague, (annual Supper meeting) Reflections on a Career in "Nature Stuff"
 

 Outings

    For upcoming outings, Contact John Blaney at 613-962-9337 or e-mail  


QUINTE FIELD NATURALISTS NEWSLETTERS

To view, click the link below

2014 Newsletters

January, 2014 Newsletter

February, 2014 Newsletter

March, 2014 Newsletter

April 2014 Newsletter

September 2014 Newsletter

October 2014 Newsletter

November 2014 Newsletter


January, 2013 Newsletter

February, 2013 Newsletter

March, 2013 Newsletter

April, 2013 Newsletter

September, 2013 Newsletter

October, 2013 Newsletter

November, 2013 Newsletter


2012 Newsletters

January, 2012 Newsletter

February, 2012 Newsletter

March, 2012 Newsletter

September, 2012 Newsletter

September, 2012 Newsletter (addendum)

October, 2012 Newsletter

November, 2012 Newsletter

 

 


 

OUTINGS AND MEETINGS

After a career working in an urban world of business, Cliff and his wife, Heather, retired to 113 hectares along the Moira River near Roslin. As they discovered the beauty and diversity of their new home, they evolved from simply owners of property to stewards of the land, from casual interest in their new surroundings to concern for the conservation of the land. Hear the inspiring story of their transformation and take a photographic journey with Cliff as he shares his enthusiasm for their land – from old growth forest to wetlands and alvar habitats. He will also regale us with their adventures discovering the life and habits of their beaver neighbours.

.Cliff Maclean Cliff Maclean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cliff Maclean is thanked by QFN president George Thomson

 


 Denice WilkinsDenice Wilkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QFN Environmental Office Denice Wilkins promotes the ICU project (Incubation Care Unit) for turtle hatchlings, to protect them from predators like foxes and raccoons. The ICUs have proven very popular.

(all above photos by Terry Sprague)

 

Last Updated ( Nov 24, 2014 at 08:50 AM )
Read more...
A Place To Perch PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 24, 2014 at 03:00 AM

 

RE-OPENING SOON AT A NEW LOCATION!

 A PLACE TO PERCH website

* * * * * *

Read their latest Newsletter (Dec./14)

* * * * * *

 

OPEN NOW!


Last Updated ( Nov 24, 2014 at 09:05 AM )
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