– A ‘Peaceful Awareness Rally’ Set For July 7th at Niagara Falls City Hall
A Call-Out to One and All of Us from Karl Dockstader
Niagara, Ontario – The Thundering Waters Forest in the southwest end of Niagara Falls, Ontario is currently slated for irreparable destructive development.
There has not been official and full recognition of the value of this asset by Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, the upper and lower tiers municipal government in Niagara, or the the provincial or the federal governments.
This lack of recognition remains the case despite the fact that destruction of a forest of this size is virtually unprecedented in our area in recent times.
Here is a backgrounder timeline on this issue:
- *The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority added streamlining the approval process for developers and economic development into its 2014-2017 strategic plan alarming local environmentalists
- *When the province released a whitepaper considering allowing biodiversity offsetting the NPCA sought to host a pilot project eventually revealing after first denying that they intended to support a pilot at the Thundering Waters Forest location
- *The Region and the City of Niagara Falls both had motions – from a still undisclosed source – to support a pilot project for biodiversity offsetting at the now proposed Paradise Development being proposed to be built on top of the Thundering Waters Forest. After considerable public backlash, and info from the Ministry of Natural Resources revealing that this Carolinian forest was ineligible, biodiversity offsetting was taken out of consideration for now
- *GR (Can) Investment Co. is still intending to destroy 200+ acres of Carolinian forest, protective thickets, and other delicate spaces adjacent to 200+ acres of protected Wetlands and no government entity or authority has expressed any opposition to or advocated for protection of this proposed destruction
- *As of the time of this backgrounder (June 26th) no environmental impact study has been made publicly available and environmental information from a preliminary characterization report has already shown incomplete documentation of protected environmental species
- *The size of the Thundering Waters Forest is one of the largest remaining continuous forests in the region of Niagara and the protected parts of the slough forest wetland complex are interconnected with the unprotected parts
It is imperative to protect this forest in its entirety until the real value of this important, diverse ecosystem is properly considered.
The appeal of a newer, greater, better, economic development project will only last for a few years but a majestic and important forest complex like the Thundering Waters Forest will last for thousands of them. A small collective of dedicated grassroots residents, environmentalists and social justice advocates are asking for support to halt this development.
We are looking for support for a position to:
Put a moratorium on the development of the Thundering Waters Forest until a clear, transparent, public process can decisively establish the full social, environmental and economic benefit of this forest remaining completely intact.
Persons, or groups of persons, wishing to express their support for this position should consider attending the peaceful awareness rally scheduled for 6pm at the courtyard in front of Niagara Falls City Hall on July 7th, 2016, visiting the Facebook page for the event at -(https://www.facebook.com/events/1281578405187497/) or emailing email@example.com with a position of support to be shared at this event and with the city planning department and other entities who could act to save this forest.
Karl Dockstader is a Niagara Falls resident and an member of the local Indigenous community deeply concerned with environmental issues.
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