Category Archives: Ostrander Point

Gilead Power’s Ostrander Point wind project in South Marysburgh

Victory at Ostrander Point!

Congratulations to Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and to their lawyer, Eric Gillespie, and his team.

Fittingly, on the anniversary of D-Day the Environmental Review Panel found that the remedial measures proposed by Gilead and by our Government were not acceptable and revoked Gilead’s Renewable Energy Approval for seven turbines, all to have been located on Government land and within a designated Important Bird Area.

All that now remains is for Premier Wynne to grasp the nettle and kill the project once and for all.

The proposed project made no sense from the get-go. But even so it took hundreds of thousands of dollars of money from County residents without benefit of tax receipts and six years of PECFN courage and persistence to achieve the result that should have been obvious even to the closed minds at Queen’s Park.

Much of the reasoning and precedents cited in the Gilead ERT decision will be of considerable help to APPEC at its July remedy hearing before its own White Pines ERT and to Amherst Island, whose ERT concludes today. Blanding’s Turtles abound in both places. And also to us at CCSAGE NATURALLY GREEN in our application for Judicial Review of the whole, sorry, Green Energy Act fiasco.

A much-needed shot in the arm, indeed.

Big, BIG rally to protect the South Shore — Sep 27 in Milford

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Click on image to enlarge

Make plans to attend the Big, BIG rally to protect the South Shore on Sunday, September 27, 2015 from 11 am to 4 pm at the Milford Fairgrounds. (N.B.  Plan to be there at 12:30 pm for “Hands around Mount Tabor”.)

Did we say BIG?  We’re expecting hundreds of people from all over the County to show support for the continuing legal efforts of APPEC and PECFN to keep the South Shore turbine-free.

There will be speeches (short), live music (local), food trucks (tasty), politicians ( ______ ), and many friends (friendly).

After 14 years of fighting against wind projects in the County (yes, 14!) there are no turbines here.  With your support, we’ll keep it that way.

Dramatic developments at the Ostrander Point ERT hearing

At the direction of the Appeal Court of Ontario, the Ostrander Point ERT sat again on September 2, 3 and 4, 2015 to consider the Gilead’s mitigation plan to reduce harms to Blanding’s turtle resulting from the construction and use of access roads.  About 120 County residents attended on the first morning to show their support for the PECFN appeal.  There were few, if any, residents supporting the other side.

The plan relies heavily on the use of gates on access roads to reduce public vehicular traffic.  PECFN called two witnesses, both of whom testified during the earlier phase of the ERT — Dr. Fred Beaudry, an expert in Blanding’s turtle and Kari Gunson, an expert in road ecology.  Both demonstrated strong and relevant knowledge and gave compelling evidence, supported by scientific papers and personal experience as to why the access roads would be problematic even with gates.  While both agreed that gates would reduce public access to a considerable extent, they also stated that there is little or no scientific evidence that other proposed mitigation measures will be successful.

Concerns about the impact of access roads include: heavy equipment movements during construction, fragmentation of habitat, barriers to movement of more timid turtles, changes to water flow and pooling, encouragement of invasive plant species, provision of appealing but easily seen nesting sites on the shoulders, and improved access within the site for poachers, predators (foxes, raccoons, skunks) and the public (some will intentionally kill turtles).  PECFN’s witnesses expressed particular concern about adult mortality, because Blanding’s turtles don’t mate until at least age 20 and have a low reproductive rate.  Dr. Beaudry emphasized that the cumulative effects of the many factors relating to roads would result in inadequate mitigation of harms.

Both witnesses were cross-examined in detail by the lawyers for MOECC and the developer, and both held up well.  To observers supporting PECFN, it was difficult to understand how the developer’s mitigation plan could justify proceeding with the project.

The third day of the hearing produced an unexpected development.  We’ll let Myrna Wood, President of PECFN, describe it: Read the rest of this entry

Reserve now for free Riverwalk event in South Marysburgh on Sep 5, 2015

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Click to enlarge

Here’s a fun event, sponsored by several County businesses, from 3 to 5 pm on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at MillsFalls B&B, 745 Crowes Road, South Marysburgh.

You’ll enjoy an afternoon of nature (with interpretive guides), soft music, wine and nibblies, plus the opportunity to visit with County friends.

The event and refreshments are free, but a donation to PECFN to save Ostrander Point will be greatly appreciated.

Advance registration is required, and attendance is limited, so sign up early by clicking here .

Premier Wynne has been invited, to allow her to demonstrate her solidarity with rural Ontario … wonder if she’ll come?

PECFN continues its efforts to Save Ostrander Point. The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) hearing will resume at the Demorestville Town Hall on September 2,3,4.

This new hearing is a result of the Appeal Court of Ontario directing the ERT to deal with the issue of remedy to Gilead’s planned destruction of the habitat resulting from the access roads and industrial wind turbines.

If you’re unable to attend Riverwalk, you can still make a donation to the Ostrander Point Appeal Fund here .

Toronto Star article on Blanding’s Turtle

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In the summer of 2013, Jim Coyle wrote about how the tiny Blanding’s turtle managed to thwart the development of nine massive wind-turbine generators in Prince Edward County, much to the joy of local residents and nature activists.

It was a very human story, full of human characters, human politics, an human point-of-view.

The following is a recap of that story but from a very different, hyperlocal perspective.

How a wind turbine project near Ostrander Point was brought into question by some local turtles.

The full Toronto Star article

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/05/22/how-the-blandings-turtle-took-on-wind-turbines-in-prince-edward-county.html

PEC’s South Shore vs Point Pelee for birders

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South Shore birders. Credit: Terry Sprague

Point Pelee National Park is a well-known destination for birders, recognized internationally, as described here .  We asked Terry Sprague, County naturalist emeritus, how he would rank the County’s South Shore as a birding location relative to Point Pelee.  Here is his response:

Prince Edward Point [at the eastern end of the South Shore of PEC] quite often surpasses Point Pelee in terms of abundance and densities of birds. In fact, nowhere else along the north shore of Lake Ontario do the numbers of migrants (spring and fall) compare with those found at Prince Edward Point.

The only difference is that birds of southern affinities that are more or less regulars down there, may only be found in ones and two at Prince Edward Point during migration – Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, etc. We refer to these southern birds as “over shoots” – southern birds that migrate north a bit farther than they should. Much like a braking car going through a stop sign.

We are finding that an increasing number of Quebecers are making PEPt their destination rather than Pelee, as it is closer for them.

While Prince Edward Point is where birds tend to congregate, much the same can be said for the entire South Shore. Birds arrive en masse all along the shore and gradually work their way along the shoreline to PEPt proper. They are seeking the shortest route across Prince Edward Bay and the Bay of Quinte on their way northward to the boreal forests where many of these species traditionally nest.

We did our Birdathon yesterday [May 11, 2015] and came up with 131 species, all but a few having been found at the Point and along Army Reserve Road. We spent almost an hour at Ostrander Point Road where the fallout of warblers there was phenomenal in the wet wooded area about half way down the road.

The Court of Appeal of Ontario is Blanding’s turtle’s new BFF

11th hour reprieve (again)

11th hour reprieve (again)

THE COURT OF APPEAL SPEAKS
APRIL 20th, 2015

Prince Edward County Field Naturalists’ (PECFN) appeal to the Court of Appeal relating to Gilead Power’s Ostrander Point proposed wind factory of 9 turbines was held over two days in mid-December, 2014. The Court’s 33 page decision was released today.

Most importantly, it “… restored the Environmental Tribunal’s conclusion that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to the Blanding’s turtle”. When the ERT originally reached that conclusion it revoked the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued by the Director for the Ministry of the Environment. Thus with the Court of Appeal’s decision, Gilead Power has no REA.

However, the Court of Appeal also determined that certain evidence that Gilead Power might have given before the ERT on how it proposed to protect the Blanding’s turtles by excluding the public from the 5.4 kilometres of access roads to the turbines was not, and was not able, to be given. The Court ordered that this aspect only should be referred back to the ERT to hear such evidence (but no other). PECFN is confident that such evidence will conclusively show that Gilead Power’s proposal to erect gates will in no way change the continuing serious and irreversible harm to the turtles because of other major threats which were exhaustively canvassed before the original ERT.

Gilead Power cannot proceed with construction and many months will likely go by before an ERT hears the evidence in question and arrives at a decision on that point alone. Meanwhile, Gilead Power has no REA.

Read the rest of this entry

PECFN announces annual art auction and dinner

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Spring has arrived and it’s time to start planning to attend the third annual OPAF Gala Fund Raising Dinner and Art Auction at the Picton Curling Club on April 25th.

Last year our guests were amazed at the quality of the pieces of art donated to help support the Ostrander Point Appeal Fund. This is your chance to get a beautiful piece at an excellent price and to support the Fund at the same time.  For example, you could score an exceptional pottery platter by celebrity potter Bill Reddick in the Koi pattern with deep red reverse.  It is a truly beautiful and unique piece.

This evening is not only about the art. The event is a truly fun evening and can get a little raucous at times! (in a distinguished County way of course!)  Ian Hanna is returning this year as master of ceremonies and auctioneer.  Chef Michael Hoy has devised an innovative plate with beef short ribs (vegetarian option available).  We are extremely grateful to County winery donations that allow us to include County wine with your meal.  Why not plan to bring a group and join us in celebrating spring and – fingers crossed -success in saving Ostrander Point.

Tickets are $75 and may be purchased online at www.saveostranderpoint.org or by calling Sheena Kennedy at 613-476-1461.