Nature groups on White Pines wind power: “bad for nature”

The Intelligencer, July 22, 2015

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – Disappointment in last week’s decision to approve 27 wind turbines in southern Prince Edward County ranges far beyond the borders of the municipality,

A trio of conservation groups, including Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, and American Bird Conservancy have joined Mayor Robert Quaiff in lambasting the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) decision to approve the White Pines Prince Edward County Wind Energy Project in an internationally designated Important Bird Area (IBA).

“There are so many things wrong about this decision and the only reasonable conclusion is that it is bad for nature” stated Ted Cheskey, senior conservation manager at Nature Canada, in a joint release. “More populations of species at risk will be threatened and more critical habitat will be destroyed. Nature Canada is not opposed to the project as a whole, but several specific turbines should not have been approved. We are also at a loss to understand why the Ministry would approve this project without waiting for the decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal in the Ostrander case.”

Michael Hutchins, director of the American Bird Conservancy’s Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign, said the development will hurt birds in both Canada and the United States.

“These are not just Ontario’s birds,” he said. “There is growing concern in the United States that the government of Ontario and Canada’s wind industry is failing to address the serious harm that poorly sited wind energy projects such as this one are causing or will cause to our already stressed shared bird and bat populations.”

Josh Wise, Greenway program coordinator for Ontario Nature, said the potential developments along the South Shore of Prince Edward County puts a number of species at risk.

“We are deeply concerned about the potential cumulative impacts these projects will have in these ecologically significant areas,” he said. “The south shore of Prince Edward County is one of the most significant corridors for migratory birds as well as habitat for species at risk like the Blanding’s turtle. We are all for green energy, but not at the expense of nature.”

While wpd Canada received approval for the White Pines site, a neighbouring project – a nine-turbine development by Gilead Power had its approval overturned on appeal by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and is now heading back to the Environmental Review Tribunal. Gilead Power will attempt to make remedy for the protection of the Blandings turtle which inhabit the area.

Quaiff says the support of the groups only supports his reaction to last week’s announcement.

“I think any time you have three entities like Nature Canada, Ontario Nature and the American Bird Conservancy seeing the same deficiencies in a decision that we see, it only help your position,” he said. “I think they would likely agreed that many aspects of the Green Energy Act are flawed and the Liberal government really needs to pull back and have another look at where they are headed with this.”

While no information has come forward regarding potential appeals of the decision, letters of intent must be filed with in 15 days of the July 16 approval date.

Nature Canada is the oldest national nature organization in Canada with 45,000 members and supporters. Nature Canada’s mission is to protect and conserve Canada’s wildlife by working with people and advocating for nature. In partnership with Bird Studies Canada, Nature Canada is the Canadian partner of BirdLife International.

Ontario Nature protects Ontario’s wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Established in 1931, it is a charitable, membership-based conservation organization with over 150 member groups and 30,000 individual members and supporters.

Established in 1994, American Bird Conservancy is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement. ABC’s work has resulted in the establishment of 65 international bird reserves, with over 990,000 acres protected, and 3.5 million trees and shrubs planted to enhance bird habitat.

See also the editorial: NIMBYS only hinder process

Comments

Barbara
Reply

From the above NIMBY editorial link:

“Green energy is needed and the facilities and machines to create it – solar farms and wind farms, as examples – need places to be built.”

This editorial writer needs to present a scientific and an economic case to prove the statements made. Or any other reasons to prove this needs to be done.

Sommer
Reply

I fully agree, Barbara.

Anyone who follows wattsupwiththat.org knows clearly that one can not post a claim like that without being ‘torn to shreds’ by scientists who have the data to back up their arguments against such hollow statements.

And yet the uninformed citizenry doesn’t realize.

Tom
Reply

Ted Cheskey “Nature Canada is not opposed to the project as a whole ”
This is whats known by the wind industry as a “usefull idiot”.
Then
John Wise “we are all for green energy but not at the expense of nature”.
The wind industry must be killing themselves laughing at these naive idiots.

Barbara
Reply

Articles such as this one send a mixed and/or confusing message to the general public.

ScepticalGord
Reply

Nature Canada and Ontario Nature enthusiastically endorsed the Green Energy Act right from the get go. They couldn’t be bothered doing research to root out any potential problems with the Act, so now they’re crying fowl for the birds and the bats, all the while still insisting that wind turbines erected anywhere else but Ostrander Point and area are “properly sited”.

Greg Latiak
Reply

Lots of rooftops in Toronto that could be used for solar farms. No point in wasting prime farmland for this. And as for wind — put them up around Queens Park,an inexhaustible supply of wind there. As for the birds… well, the Treaty on the Non-Interference with Migratory Birds is ancient. But since it stands in the way of profits for the well-connected, who cares. And all the wreckage is just acceptable collateral damage in some circles. Wonder where they are going to go back to after their greed has trashed the planet. Remember the passenger pigeon.

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