A Commentary by John Bacher, Sierra Club of Ontario
Posted March 13th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Fort Erie, Ontario – At the March 5, 2018, meeting of Fort Erie Town Council, there was a serious discussion about the possible authorization of tree cutting in connection with the Harbourtown Village development adjacent to Waverly Beach.
The essence of the discussion revolved around a suggestion that the cutting of trees on 12.8 hectares of land could begin the day after theTown of Fort Erie council meeting that is expected to approve this development on March 19, 2018.
This would be within the twenty day period when appeals are permitted to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) of council decisions!
The essence of (Ontario’s) tree protection bylaws is to ensure that forests are protected until the subdivision approval process is completed. This means legally until possible appeals to the OMB are terminated.
To seriously consider the premature massive destruction of a large tract of Carolinian forest, protected as a Regionally Significant Forest under the Niagara Regional Official Plan, is quite disgraceful.
It is to be urgently hoped that the Waverly Beach forest be protected until the OMB can decide such relevant matters as if the if there will be harm to endangered species, such as the Red Headed Woodpecker, the Barn Swallow, the Fowler’s Toad and the Chimney Swift by the proposed, extensive, deforestation.
Sincerely, Dr. John Bacher (Ph.D.), Chair, Sierra Club of Ontario.
John Bacher is a veteran conservationist in Niagara, Ontario who has worked on the Greenbelt Review for the Sierra Club of Canada and for the Niagara-based citizens group, the Preservation of Agriculture Lands Society.
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