From EAC: By now you have probably hear that the long-promised, but yet-to-be delivered Blue Mountain Birch Cove Regional Park area is under immediate threat. A terrible report from an independent facilitator is recommending that a massive urban sprawl development be allowed inside the future park – all around the Birch Cove Lakes! Hundreds of you have already shown your support for protecting this amazing wilderness area by coming out to the public meeting last Monday, and writing letters to city council. Blue Mountain Birch Cove still needs your help!
Join us for a public meeting this Wednesday, June 29th from 7pm – 9 pm Ondaatje Hall, McCain Building, Dalhousie University next to the Rebecca Cohn Building to show your support. This meeting will be hosted by the Ecology Action Centre, Friends of Nature, Halifax Field Naturalists & the Halifax Northwest Trails Association. We need absolutely everyone who cares about this issue to attend. Tell your neighbors, tell your friends. We need you to come and be counted and to help rescue our future park from being ruined forever.
Richmond Campbell, WRWEO Co-founder and for many years its chair or co-chair and a driving force behind building of the The Bluff Trail is not happy about the proposed development of part of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes watershed. “What they propose would create an urban sprawl extending into the proposed regional parkland that would
(1) permanently damage the ecological value of the legally protected wilderness land within the watershed and original park boundaries; and
(2) render impossible implementation of the original vision of a regional wilderness park situated within Halifax that would be, as a city park that is adjacent to the urban core, unprecedented in size, beauty, and ecological integrity anywhere in Canada.” Richmond had agreed to our posting his letter to Mayor Savage and Members of Regional Council in which he elaborates on these points. View letter
Over 300 people, young and old, attended the public meeting for the Facilitator’s Report on the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park; the room accommodated less than 200. No questions or discussion were allowed and the microphone was turned off when participants attempted to hold their own discussions after presentations by the Facilitator, HRM and a developer. An audio of the meeting is available here.
The developer’s slides did not show the hardscaping (shown in map at left) that would occur under their plan. Under the original concept of the Regional Park, there would be a core wilderness area, with a outdoor recreation-oriented park providing a buffer outside of the wilderness area as well as access to the core wilderness area. HRM committed to purchasing private lands as necessary for the latter. The core wilderness area is now a Wilderness Protected Area set up by the province in 2009 on this understanding. Under the developers’ plan, hardscape would abut directly on the protected wilderness area. It would enclose a large portion of the Keji-like lakes. The watershed would be heavily impacted and we would lose a priceless asset and a lot of what makes Halifax such an attractive place to live and work.
The Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area is a sister wilderness to the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, and like the FBLWA, it’s worth fighting for. Please see the See EAC document and the facilitator’s report (and/or listen to the audio) and send your comments to Regional Council by 3 pm Monday July 4 – see HRM page.
Counts of flowering Lady’s Slipper orchids were up again, and lots else was in flower yesterday. The orchid count by Kai was 434, versus 262 in 2015. (See Orchid count 2015). There was lots else in bloom (or in fruit). Can you ID the flowers (or fruit) in the photos? (Click on pic at left for a larger version.)
From Our HRM Alliance: In 2014, a facilitator was hired to negotiate the boundaries of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. Shockingly, the facilitator’s report (just released) proposes the exact site plan the developers asked for in 2007. This negotiation has been a complete failure. You can read the flawed report here. If you do not want to see Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes developed, come to the public information meeting Monday, June 20, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at The Future Inns Aspin/Birch Room, 30 Fairfax Drive, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax is taking written feedback on this report until July 4 at email@example.com. View Plant ID and details of orchid count
The Annual Warbler Walk organized by Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust is led by well-known birder Hans Toom
When/where: Sunday, June 5 at the Jerry Lawrence Provincial Park, Lewis Lake.
Meet at 7 a.m.at the picnic area inside the Park .
Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust invites you to attend its annual
May Fair in the Park on Sunday, May 29, 2016.
Join the Trust for children’s games, face painting, BBQ and a scavenger hunt lead by the Indian Point Young Naturalists. Children will have a chance to win prizes and tour fire trucks, while the grownups learn about the many community organizations working to enhance our community.
Where: Jerry Lawrence Park, Lewis Lake
When: May 29, 2016 from 12-3p.m.
We are very proud that one of our own, David Patriquin, was presented the Colin Stewart Conservation Award on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at the Museum of Natural History on behalf of Halifax Field Naturalists. Here are Richmond Campbell’s comments from the presentation:
I am humbled to present the Colin Stewart Conservation Award to a truly innovative and indeed transformative conservationist: David Patriquin. Many of us already know him well and know how deserving he is of this recognition. But we know also how modest he is, and for that reason most of us still don’t know more than a small part of all that he has contributed to conservation locally, regionally, and province wide. To give the broad picture (and to keep this presentation within six minutes) I have divided his accomplishments into three categories.
The first category is his unremunerated conservation effort toward Protection of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area under the NS Wilderness Areas Protection Act, achieved in October 2011 in no small part due to Dave’s giving the scientific basis for protection. In the words of Peter Labor, Director, Protected Areas & Ecosystems Branch, NS Environment (letter of October 14, 2014): Continue reading “Colin Stewart Conservation Award”
“The second phase of public engagement for the new Halifax Green Network Plan gets underway on Wednesday, March 30. This phase of work will be critical in shaping the core planning directions for the conservation and use of both public and privately-owned open space lands and waters.
“Over the next month [actually over 9 days] the municipality and consultants from O2 Planning + Design will host eight public engagement meetings. Each session will begin with a presentation of the work to date, key findings and proposed broad-scale planning directions. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and an open house session to gather further feedback. This input will then shape the third and final phase of the Plan’s development, which will commence later this spring.
“We hope you can join us at one or more of the following sessions:
“Fall River – Sackville
Wednesday, March 30, 6 – 9 p.m.
Gordon R. Snow Community Centre, 1359 Fall River Rd.
Thursday, March 31, 6 – 9 p.m.
Atlantica Hotel, 1980 Robie St.
This year, in addition to reporting on WRWEO business from 2015 and electing a new board of directors, our AGM will be focused on how to deal with the growing problem of harmful human impacts on the Bluff Trail. Why do we hurt the trail that we love? It should be a good and lively conversation and we look forward to a good discussion.