Category Archives: Ministry of Natural Resources
Matt McEachran, Lambton Shield
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people that like to pay a lot more for my hydro; it’s a small price to pay to save the environment. Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost due to Ontario’s high electricity prices? No problem. An economy tanking in part because the government is too busy blowing billions on pet environmental projects? Bring it on. Knowing that the environment is better and animals are safer…. awww crap, there goes my theory.
At least that’s how my imaginary conversation with a member of the Ontario Liberal government transpires, now that a photo of a bald eagle’s nest being cut down to make way for wind turbines has gone viral. Yes that’s right, look again. Cutting down a bald eagles nest to make room for wind turbines. That’s the kind of evil, uncaring, environmentally-callus attitude we’ve been trained to expect from a coal generation plant, isn’t it? Oops.
The truth spills out. That picture speaks volumes about the Liberals’ Green Energy Act, far better than all the newspaper columns and Auditor General reports added together, ever could. I mean, a bald eagle? The only thing that could have been a worse public relations disaster would have been a polar bear. Even people who don’t care about the environment care about bald eagles. Everyone knows that. But then again, the Liberals have shown they will let nothing stand in their way from implementing their environmental ideology. Apparently even the very environment they were trying to save in the first place. This picture encapsulates everything that is wrong with the Ontario government’s attitude. With everything really, but especially the Green Energy Act. Read article
NexTerror cut down one eagle nest in Ontario already this year, and are eying up another at the Bornish project that was just approved last week.
Please mark your calendar to join the Save the Bornish Eagles Gathering:
Date: Saturday, May 25
Place: West Williams Community Centre, 32217 Kerwood Road, Parkhill MAP (right beside the eagle nest)
I spy with my little eye something that will NEVER AGAIN be removed by a wind developer in Ontario. An eagle nest. Over my dead body, NexTerror.
When the community labels Nextera “NexTerror” and “NextError”, it isn’t for just any old reason. Perhaps parody is ingrained in Canadians, and this is why Nextera has earned itself yet another new name: NESTerror. We watched the take down of the eagle’s nest in Haldimand, and literally vowed never again.
So this weekend some pictures of two bald eaglea and their nest were sent to me by a local resident. This nest is in the Nextera Bornish Wind Project (@ Kerwood Rd & Elginfield Rd), close to wind turbines (634m), and very close (187m) to the massive switchyard for the Bornish, Adelaide, Jericho and Cedar Point Wind Projects— a total of 221 turbines for Middlesex and Lambton counties. The Bornish and Adelaide projects are scheduled to be approved by the MOE this month.
The Haldimand nest destruction was not a ‘one-off’, I’m sure of that, even though Nextera rep Tom Bird told us, “I absolutely don’t want to do that again.” Not even a month after they took down the nest in Haldimand county, they were eying up one in Middlesex county.
Looking through Nextera’s website I came across these recent addendums from February, 2013:
Terry Heffernan, Special to the Times-Advocate
GRAND BEND — About 70 people were in attendance at a protest Sunday of the planned installation of wind turbines in or around the Thedford Bog near the Lambton County Museum.
At issue is the tundra swans that use the bog to rest and feed on their way from their wintering grounds in Chesapeake Bay to the Arctic shores breeding grounds. Protesters believe that building turbines in the bog will disrupt the flight path of the swans and they will disappear from the area and never return as long as the turbines are in place.
Before the turbines get final approval, members of the Trees Not Turbines on Ontario’s West Coast, Ontario Wind Resistance, Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group, WAIT Plympton-Wyoming and Wind Concerns Ontario are attempting to convince NextEra to stop the turbine invasion in the area. Read article
London Free Press
GRAND BEND – With thousands of tundra swans honking in the background, dozens of anti-wind protesters rallied Sunday against plans for giant turbines in the area. “These companies have no concerns for nature. It is just sad,” said Dave Griffiths of Bluewater Against Turbines citizens group. The protesters harvested signatures from more than 50 carloads on a petition calling for a stop to plans to establish the wind farms in the area. The protesters maintain the turbines will disrupt the migratory patterns of the swans and other wildlife. NextEra Energy Canada, which is seeking government approval for the Goshen and Jericho wind farms, has said it will abide by any setbacks required to protect the swans. Read article
“However, biologists are also concerned that leaving the nest in this location may have led to adult eagles being killed or injured due to the proximity of the nest to wind turbines.”
Letter from Minister of Natural Resources:
Thank you for your e-mail to my predecessor the Honourable Michael Gravelle about the removal of the bald eagles’ nest in Haldimand County. I appreciate that you took the time to share your views, and I am pleased to respond.
Expanding clean and renewable sources of energy is key to the government’s plan to phase out coal-fired generation, mitigate climate change, create green jobs and support technological innovation in renewable energy.
The Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre, located in Haldimand County, is expected to produce enough energy for approximately 32,000 homes in Ontario. This project is contributing to the development of clean renewable sources of energy so Ontarians will have a sustainable supply of power now and in the future.
This project has been awarded a Feed-in-Tariff contract by the Ontario Power Authority. It has also received the Renewable Energy Approval from the Ministry of the Environment and an approved Natural Heritage Assessment (NHA) from the Ministry of Natural Resources. No Significant Wildlife Habitat was identified at this location during the preparation of the NHA. Read the rest of this entry
Are you watching the annual spring migration of the tundra swans? Are they flying over areas that will be proposed wind developments, or landing in fields that will soon have turbines? Send your observations and pictures to Ontario Wind Resistance firstname.lastname@example.org to create a visual to illustrate this amazing journey of these birds as they rest and forage on the shores before moving onto their summer nesting grounds in the high Arctic. Displacement of these swans is a serious concern that is being ignored by the wind developers and our provincial government. View all images and reports here
Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail
On the morning of Jan. 5, workers with a fleet of heavy equipment mounted a stealth assault on a bald eagle’s nest near the shore of Lake Erie. Their mission was to remove the nest – one of only a few dozen bald eagle nests in Southern Ontario – to make way for an access road to the site of a new industrial wind turbine. As a pair of eagles looked on from a nearby tree, the workers sawed off the limb with the giant nest and took it away to parts unknown.
Ontario’s environmental regulations would usually make this illegal. But the wind company, NextEra Energy, one of the biggest operators in the province, had obtained special dispensation.
Wind power is supposed to be environmentally friendly. But a lot of environmentalists don’t think so. “People couldn’t believe it happened,” says Scott Petrie, a waterfowl ecologist and executive director of Long Point Waterfowl, a conservation group. “Cutting down bald eagle nests flies in the face of anything you would call green energy.”
Wind turbines have invaded many of Ontario’s most scenic and ecologically rich areas. They’re invading coastal wetlands and spreading along major migratory flyways – up the Bruce Peninsula, west to Lake Huron, south to Lake Erie, and east to Prince Edward County, where environmental groups are fighting a major wind development in Ostrander Point, an important bird area. “We have no idea whatsoever of the cumulative impact of these things,” says Dr. Petrie. Turbines chew up birds and other flying things, and they disrupt wildlife habitats. Read article
London Free Press
You just missed it; you’re five minutes late”.
I had just got out of the car and hurried over to the nearest person standing along the gravel roadside, anxiously asking what had happened.
Looking a mile across the snow drifted field we could see the dismembered cottonwood tree, and vaguely, a branch hanging in the air with what appeared to be the bald eagle nest embedded in it. Dammit, we had driven two hours to get to the site, hoping we had a chance of arriving before they went too far with the chainsaw, but pessimistically prepared our thoughts for being too late.
“It could be ugly by the time we get there…”, I had surmised over my shoulder to Muriel, who was riding in the back as my dad made tracks down to Haldimand County that early January morning.
The police had blocked the road leading to the tree and the nest, informing locals they would be charged with trespassing if they drove in, so onlookers had watched the limb come loose from the road.
It was at this time, I had to stop and think – the eagle nest was gone, there was nothing we could do to put it back in place, yes, much like death. The home that they had chosen to raise their young had been destroyed, “for their own safety”, the wind company NextEra and Ministry of Natural Resources said.
I think of people who have suffered the same fate in rural Ontario: Barb, Stephana, Glen, Sandy, Tracy, Aaron, Kay, Lisa, Ernie, Ted, Roger, Larry, Bert, Helen, Ross, Darlene, Paul, Nikki – more than I can list, and their families. They have been forced out of their homes, their habitat, by wind turbines being pushed up too close. Many are still trying to escape, but unable to do so, due to finances and unsellability of their homes. Read the rest of this entry
Bureaucrats ignored advice from biologist to leave eagle’s nest and move wind turbine in Haldimand County
By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
He’s the leading expert on bald eagles in southern Ontario, someone Ontario bureaucrats call on for guidance — most recently, when a relatively rare eagle nest was found near the site of a planned wind turbine.
But when biologist Jody Allair told bureaucrats to protect the nest and move the turbine, they did the opposite, defending their stance on what Allmair says are shaky grounds.
“I was surprised and disappointed,” said Allair, who heads the Southern Ontario Bald Eagle Monitoring Program for Bird Studies Canada.
The nest in Fisherville, in Haldimand County, was suspected as far back as the summer but it was early November, after leaves fell, that residents began phoning and the Natural Resources Ministry asked Allair to confirm it was an active nest — and it was.
The nest, just 20 metres from the planned turbine, was likely hundreds of pounds — a bald eagle’s nest can be as big as 3 tonnes.
“Any time there’s a new nest, that’s a cause for celebration,” Allair said. “I recommended strongly that the nest needed be left alone, the turbine needed to be moved and a buffer had to be created.”
But while Allair thought the nest would be saved and the planned turbine moved from plans that placed it 20 m away, the ministry decided otherwise, issuing behind closed doors a permit Dec. 31 to allow NextEra Canada to remove it to build a 56-turbine wind farm that will produce enough electricity to power 32,000 homes.
Four days later — and just one day before the nest was removed — the ministry reported the permits and the reasons for issuing it on Ontario’s environmental registry.
The ministry wrote it was important to expand clean and renewable sources of energy — subsidized by taxpayers — and that the eagles could relocate in time to nest and law eggs — something Allair says is far from certain.
“It’s possible the nesting season is lost,” he said. Read article
Fisherville, Haldimand Cty, Ontario:
Saturday January 5th, at approximately 10:30am, Florida based wind company Nextera Energy chainsawed down the tree limb (large cottonwood) holding a beautiful, active, bald eagle nest (species of Special Concern in Ontario).
How is this possible? Yesterday at 5:00pm the MNR gave a permit to this corporation to destroy this eagle pairs nest, and cut down the tree— as long as they were able to do it by January 6th -the next day.
In typical cold government language, it is justified that the tree and nest should be removed as it was “scheduled to be removed for the construction of a road, and within 20 metres of the blade sweep of a proposed turbine“. The MNR was not at the tree/nest removal site to see that it was done properly. Nextera’s construction company “Whites” did the removal. I asked the police officer, who seemed to trust that these guys were ‘moving’ the nest, not just making a kindling pile, “If there are only 57 bald eagle nest in Ontario, what are the chances that ANY of these workers has ever removed an eagle nest before?”. Slim. And that is why they had to go through pans A, B, C, D etc to figure out how to lower it onto some straw bales….. they clearly didn’t have a clue what they were doing. and the MNR remained out of sight, as if they had nothing to do with it.
More famous quotes from the MNR:
“By removing the nest before January 6th it is anticipated they will find another suitable nest location and will avoid disturbing them during their critical nesting period…….Removing the nest will reduce the risk of eagle mortality at the site.“
Video from inside wind developer Nextera’s destruction zone of the bald eagle nest. Don’t mind the odd bleeped out bit of anger flying around – it wasn’t the most pleasant place to be.
Selkirk – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett says approval to remove an eagles’ nest east of Selkirk smacks of big money corrupting Ontario government procedure. The tree hosting the nest was cut down Saturday, January 5, 2013, to make way for an access road for a Next Era wind turbine. The Ministry of Natural Resources published permission for the removal at 5pm Friday, January 4.
“Frankly, I feel betrayed – I was in communication with the Minister’s office through December, and we were never alerted to this unconscionable decision until it was too late,” asserted Barrett. “I got to the site on Saturday just after the nest had been removed.”
Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal green-lighted the Next Era project last fall following a month-long hearing in Hagersville. “Clearly the Ontario government and its Green Energy Act have corrupted the system – with so much money to be made by government’s wind proponent friends, concerns for wildlife and rural values are steamrolled while opponents are kept in the dark,” Barrett intoned. “We’ve been told that the nest was removed to reduce eagle mortality – a clear admission that wind turbines kill eagles.” Read the rest of this entry