Wildlife & Natural Spaces

You cannot protect what you do not know. Nature’s diversity exists all around us. SCCF works with individuals, partners and community groups to promote knowledge of wildlife and natural environments. We work to preserve and protect for all to enjoy, both now and in the future.

Sierra Club Ontario members oppose proposed urban expansions in Niagara

Proposals have been put forward to urbanize vast swaths of land via the Niagara Region’s new Official Plan. Planned urban expansions threaten Canada’s most biologically diverse Carolinian zone.  These expansions would impinge on land currently restricted for rural purposes, including habitats for many endangered and declining species.

Two members of Sierra Club Ontario (Dr. John Bacher and Danny Beaton) recently spoke to oppose planned urban expansions to the Niagara region. Click to see their full presentations. 

Stopping Forest Extinction

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

Crazed Axe-Wielding Mad Men Threaten Niagara.

The mentality of those doing land use planning in the Niagara Region was captured vividly by paleontologist Michael Benton, through his examination of the catastrophic mid-Permian extinctions. Benton described how during this era, “vast swaths” of the trees of life “are cut short, as if attacked by a crazed, axe-wielding madmen.”

Ring of Fire Assessment: An Assessment of Reflections From the Members of Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory

By: Joseph Duncan and Aleksandra Spasevski.

In honour of Ringo Fiddler. 

Ontario’s Far North recently received attention due to the $60 billion chromite mining potential. The massive mining project is known as the Ring of Fire. Both provincial and federal leaders have identified this mining opportunity as a multigenerational opportunity that can create both economic and societal benefits for communities (Chetkiewicz & Lintner, 2014).

Ontario Land Tribunal Dismissal of Riverfront Rezoning Case Sparks Request to Appeal to the Divisional Court

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

On September 17, 2021, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) dismissed a zoning appeal by the Ontario Sierra Club Executive Committee Member, John Bacher. The Sierra Club Canada Foundation had separately sought standing as a participant in the case. On October 4, 2021, lawyers at Eric K. Gillespie Professional Corporation filed a motion for leave to appeal with the Divisional Court, the first step in asking the court to review the OLT decision.

Open Letter: Stop Gull Island

October 13, 2021

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Premiers of Atlantic Canada, and Elected Leaders, 

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals are calling on you as elected leaders to oppose the construction of the Gull Island mega-hydro project (Phase 2 of Nalcor’s Lower Churchill Project) and to protect the Grand River/Mistashipu (colonially known as Churchill River) in Labrador and other endangered rivers across the country.

All Party Consent for Ring of Fire Mining Shows Tragic Decline in Ontario Political Culture

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

Contemptuously, in the recent federal election there was an obscene amount of all party support to one of the most ecocidal threats to our planet. That threatened area is the Hudson Bay Lowlands, whose vast peat bogs perform a role more vital than ever before. It serves as a refrigerator for our planet which is under attack by anthropogenic climate change. These lowlands are the largest contiguous tract remaining of temperate wetlands on our sacred Mother Earth.

Highway 413 & What It Means For Ontario

The proposed Highway 413 perfectly represents the Province of Ontario’s lack of priority for the environment and climate change. Highway 413 showcases a continued focus on transportation by car, over people and the environment, which will have major impacts on our future for years to come.

At a time of rapid global warming and climate change, the privatization of land for highways (which only adds more cars and traffic) is the opposite of what is needed from our leadership.

Prairie Chapter Wants to see Political Action on Water

Press Release for Immediate Release, Tuesday September 14, 2021

Sierra Club Canada’s Prairie Chapter is calling on candidates and party leaders running in the federal election to act on water security.

The chapter says the prairies are a water stressed region and say leaders must come up with a plan to address the future of our drinking water, water withdrawal, and worsening droughts and floods in the region.

Thundering Waters

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

Over two months ago a development company, GR Investment Group, attempted to dismiss my appeal of a Niagara Falls Zoning By-law, No. 2020-124, which has been made to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT). (LPAT-Case Number PL2-2020-64).

Still, the decision of LPAT on this matter has yet to be made.

Species at Risk Feature - Little Brown Bat

The Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) is one of just 18 species of bat found in Canada with the largest distribution of them all. A nocturnal, echolocating insectivore, the little brown bat measures 8-10 cm in length, weighing only a mere 5-14 grams. They range in colour from brown to red-brown, and golden-brown, with female bats presenting as larger than male bats. 

Ontario Forest Under Attack

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

One of the most important environmental battles now going on in Ontario is a debate in the council chambers of Chatham-Kent to decide if the municipality is to have a tree cutting by-law. A temporary by-law has been imposed, but it is scheduled to be lifted on December 14, 2021.

Species at Risk Feature - Bank Swallow

The Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) is a small insectivorous songbird, best known for its swooping and soaring behaviours used to protect their nests, and when catching their insect prey mid-flight. Bank Swallows inhabit low-lying areas typically near rivers, streams, ocean coasts and reservoirs. As a colonial nesting species, bank swallows can be found in large numbers where their nests occur as numerous open cavities and holes in the sides of river banks and sandy embankments.

Funding Policies to Protect Wildlife Webinar

The Watch for Wildlife program of Sierra Club's Atlantic Canada Chapter welcomes you to a lively discussion on why it is necessary to implement measures to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions in order to conserve wildlife and protect motorists in Canada.

Webinar speakers will discuss how participants can reach out to their local Member of Parliament to show their support for the recommendations of the Green Budget Coalition. We will deliver a message that the federal government should:

1. Implement a national wildlife-vehicle collision data reporting system,
2. Make highway and railway funding conditional on an integrated wildlife management plan, including any required crossing structures, fencing and other collision-prevention infrastructure.

Click here to learn more about the Green Budget Coalition: https://greenbudget.ca/(link is external)

 

Speakers:

Gretchen Fitzgerald (She/her) is the National Program & Atlantic Chapter Director for Sierra Club Canada Foundation. With an academic background in marine biology, Gretchen Fitzgerald became Atlantic Chapter Director in 2007 and transitioned to National Programs Director in 2016. She led the campaign to successfully stop oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and secured provincial commitments to ban uranium mining in Nova Scotia. Her passions include her daughter, getting out in the garden, and seeing people use their power to bring about change.

David Snider, Past Board President, currently serves as Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s delegate to the Green Budget Coalition. Degrees in physical geography and law provided him with a broad-based understanding of environmental issues. In 2013 David retired from the Canada Revenue Agency after 30 years working on compliance research, strategy, policy and legislation. He is a life member of the Canadian Kennel Club, a lure coursing judge, and a director on the board of his local historical society. David enjoys hiking, skiing, birding, gardening and getting involved in environmental issues.

Prairie Flora Feature: Prairie Crocus

Today’s featured prairie plant is Anemone patens also known as Prairie Crocus, Crocus Anemone, Pasque Flower or Prairie Smoke. It is best known for being the first flower to bloom following winter, often before complete snowmelt has occurred, signalling the start of spring on the prairies. This long-lived perennial flower is native to Canada and grows on open prairies, along hillsides, roadsides, dry grasslands and open woods.

Canada's Prairie Pothole Region

The Canadian Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) encompasses 467,000km² of wetland and grassland area stretching from Alberta’s Rocky Mountain foothills to Manitoba’s Red River Valley. The appearance of these ‘pothole’ structured wetlands, were formed by the movement of glaciers across North America, where the ice melted into the pools that are now the potholes wetlands we have today. The formation of the pothole region took tens of thousands of years during the Wisconsin glaciation period.