Reg Rankin’s controversial motion sidetracked, consideration of BMBCL on Sept. 6

In the scrum
In the scrum
Reg Rankin’s controversial Item 15 was moved up the agenda at the Regional Council meeting this afternoon. After a confusing set of discussions and motions about “Map 3A” (cited in item 15) and whether it should be released in camera, a motion was passed requesting that a full Continue reading “Reg Rankin’s controversial motion sidetracked, consideration of BMBCL on Sept. 6”

Reg Rankin makes untimely motion to amend the concept plan for BMBCL Regional Park

In a break from Reg’s long standing support for green initiatives in HRM, Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, limiting the Otter Lake landfill etc., he has put forward a motion for next Tuesday’s Regional Council meeting that tacitly accepts the highly criticized Facilitator’s report on Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park, see Item 15. It also means, apparently, that the 1500+ letters written to Mayor and Councillors urging them to reject the Facilitator’s report topic will not be in the packages for councillors. Those who support the original concept of the Regional Park are urged to attend Regional Council at 1 pm on Tuesday when this item is likely to come up (See Agenda). See op-ed in the CH July 22 for a few of the many reasons why Reg’s motion would best be withdrawn and if not, soundly defeated.

Western Common Advisory Committee needs members

WCThe Western Commons is a large block of HRM land on the Chebucto Peninsula just east of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area. A Master Plan for the Western Commmons was approved in 2010, but follow-up has been slow. Now HRM is ready to move, and needs some new members on the advisory committee. See HRM Ad: http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/documents/WesternCommon.pdf
Applications can be made through various venues, the easiest being email and online:
• clerks@halifax.ca
• Halifax.ca/forms/volunteer_application.php
Applications are being accepted until July 29th, 2016.
Thanks to Five Bridges Trust for bringing this to our attention.

12 ways to help the Bluff Trail

Calling on all trail users – 12 ways to help the Bluff Trail:

In the Reply Area at the bottom of this page Record & Report (R&R) or email info@wrweo.ca your:

  • activity,
  • date,
  • length of time, and
  • number of people who helped,
  • before- and after-photos

– Park perpendicular to the edge on the West side of the parking lot

– Collect garbage/litter in parking lot R&R

– Collect garbage2016-04-23marchand-bluff-clean/litter on trail  R&R

– Count other users on the trail  R&R

– Create a trail report during your hike: look for evidence of harmful human impacts, hazards on the trail, and/or areas in need of maintenance  R&R

– Remediate campfires: Cache rocks from a campfire in the bush near2016june25b trail to be used for trail hardening; disperse ashes and burnt wood, cover area with leaves and twigs to restore duff layer on top of damaged or disturbed soil  R&R

 

– Remediate damaged cam2016june25apsites: dismantle log furniture, cut and/or hide logs as far from site as possible, cover area with leaves and twigs to restore duff layer on top of damaged or disturbed soil  R&R

– Remediate Inukshuk & cairns: dismantle and cache rocks in the bush near trail to be used for trail hardening  R&R

– Remediate spurs: place deadfall, windfall, or rocks across the opening; possibly recommend need for “Stay On Trail” sign at the location R&R

– Help WRWEO create a complete sign & infrastructure inventory: document the location, size, messaging, and condition of signs along the trail. Document the location, length, width, and condition of boardwalks and stone hardened trail surfaces, Include photos  R&R

– Talk to trail users about Protected Wilderness Area rules and Leave No Trace (LNT) Practices R&Rbluff_talk2

– Become a member of WRWEO or make a donation on line at:www.wrweo.ca. Membership fees and donations support ongoing conservation efforts and membership increases our representation and credibility as an organization.

HRM: Are you ready for the Birch Cove Rangers?

Three-hundred plus citizens passionate about Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) attended the public meeting about the planned BMBCL Regional Park this evening (June 30, 2016), which followed a highly criticized Facilitator’s Report. Two MLAs (Diana Whalen, Joachim Stroink) attended. There were only two HRM Councillors (Waye Mason & Jennifer Watts) present, but several candidates who will run in the fall election were there. EAC’s veteran BMBCL campaigner Raymond Plourde gave a history of the Regional Park and MC’d further presentations and discussions to repeated applause. Continue reading “HRM: Are you ready for the Birch Cove Rangers?”

Wed June 29, 2016, 7 pm Ondaatje Hall – show support for BMBCL

Is this what we want?
Is this what we want?

From EAC: By now you have probably heard 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.

Take Immediate Action: Continue reading “Wed June 29, 2016, 7 pm Ondaatje Hall – show support for BMBCL”

One perspective on the Facilitator’s Report for BMBCL

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

No Questions Allowed about Facilitator’s Report on Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park..written input now critical

BMBCL Facilitator Meeting June 20Over 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.BMBCL

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.

Lady’s Slipper orchids abound on the Bluff Trail

Flowering (or in fruit) on The Bluff Trail June 16, 2016
Flowers (or fruit) on The Bluff Trail June 16, 2016
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.)