Nature Organizations Oppose Wind Energy Project that Harms Endangered Wildlife

“Not only will the Gilead Project destroy 1/2 to 2/3 of the site’s significant wildlife habitat, it will be in place for 25-50 years threatening the lives of birds, bats and Monarch Butterflies migrating through spring and fall, and also permanently displace species that breed at Ostrander Point.”

June 9 (OTTAWA) – Nature Canada, Ontario Nature, and the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists submitted joint comments today to the Province of Ontario, voicing opposition to a proposed permit allowing Gilead Power Corporation to “kill, harm and harass” endangered species and their habitat at Ostrander Point, Ontario. The wind energy company seeks permission to damage or destroy habitat for two endangered species, Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will, for the purpose of developing Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park.

“Nature Canada along with its partners Ontario Nature and the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists agree climate change poses one of the greatest risks to biodiversity,” said Ted Cheskey, Nature Canada’s manager of bird conservation. “We fully support the Ontario government’s intention to expand the use of clean and renewable sources of energy through its Green Energy and Green Economy Act. However, in responding to climate change, we must not sacrifice biodiversity and significant habitats. Protecting wildlife, threatened species and their habitat is vitally important if we are to buffer the effects of climate change and provide options for wildlife that must cope with predicted changes.”

The Gilead project proposes building and operating nine wind turbines within Ostrander Point Crown Land Block, a critical refuelling spot for birds migrating from South and Central America on their way to and from Canada’s Boreal Forest. It is the site of the globally significant Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area near Kingston Ontario, and sits on provincial Crown land that is also a candidate Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.

The wind park is only a few kilometers from the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, the only NWA specifically recognized for its importance for migrating landbirds. Environment Canada has described the site where the turbines are proposed as “one of the best areas for birds in southern Ontario.”

“Requesting a permit like this is an unusual step in Canada for a wind energy project, but one that appears to be an admission that the project will be impacting threatened species at the site where the turbines are to be built,” said Cheskey. “Provincial regulators should adopt policies and guidelines that exclude wind energy projects from Important Bird Areas and other areas that are known to be of importance to endangered wildife.”

In the joint comments submitted today, the conservation groups voiced concern that alternative locations were not thoroughly considered, and that there’s been no demonstration that species will benefit from this project.

“The Endangered Species Act sets a high standard regarding permits to damage or destroy endangered species habitat or to harm or harass a member of an endangered species,” said Cheskey. “In the end the project proponent must provide an overall benefit to the species, and there is no evidence that Gilead has done that.”

The joint comments have been posted online and made available to the public.

Comments on Gilead’s permit to harm endangered species

Comments on Gilead’s right to occupy and use Ostrander Point Crown Land Block

For more information, please contact:
Ted Cheskey
Manager, Bird Conservation
613-5623447 ex.227
tcheskey@naturecanada.ca

9 thoughts on “Nature Organizations Oppose Wind Energy Project that Harms Endangered Wildlife

  1. “Conservation groups voiced concern that
    alternative locations were not thoroughly
    considered, and there’s been no demonstration
    that species will benefit from this project.”

    I don’t get it. Where in the world could you site
    an IWT development and come to the conclusion
    that the habitat/species will somehow benefit
    from it?

  2. After reading this – I had to throw myself down the stairs………to get rid of the “Mind Cramp”!!!!!!

    “We fully support the Ontario government’s intention to expand the use of clean and renewable sources of energy through its Green Energy and Green Economy Act. However, in responding to climate change, we must not sacrifice biodiversity and significant habitats. Protecting wildlife, threatened species and their habitat is vitally important if we are to buffer the effects of climate change and provide options for wildlife that must cope with predicted changes.”

    It would appear academics – and their twisted brains – are confused – again.

    Mind Cramp: “buffer the effects of climate change and provide options for wildlife that must cope with predicted changes.”

    To me, this is a perfect example of “mind abuse”.

  3. Do you detect some serious conflict happening here? Now they are saying that wind turbines aren’t green anymore. This is another example of lack of coherence and confusion on the environmental left. Remember, when over fishing was evil so the greens said fish farming was good? Governments gave billons over the years to get fish farms running, now the greens say fish farming is bad. Remember nuclear power was evil, but with climate change nuclear power is now green. On the east coast of Canada, the seal hunt is evil because cutesy seals are brutally slaughtered for money; But in Australia environmentalists want a huge nationwide camel hunt, where camels will be brutally slaughtered for carbon credits (money). They can justify this slaughter because camels are ugly. And wind turbines used to be green, now they are evil. How do environmentalists explain this kind of flip flopping and backtracking? How can they look themselves in the mirror every morning? Thank god I’m not an environmentalist anymore.

  4. True environmentalists,do NOT support IWTs anywhere! It`d be oxymoronic, would it not?
    I`m with Randy, green energy is fake!

  5. ENGOs are feeling the heat now and looking for reasons to retreat from their present beliefs/stands on IWTs they have taken. Are ENGOs still willing to accept collateral damage in nesting areas?

  6. I agree , there is not such thing as Green Energy but geothermal is great and small scale solar are sure better than paying these guys money…..you cannot rule any of those out.
    It is not the renewables it is the direction…you are not going to convince people that it is all bad.
    I am die hard against large scale for profit and FIT
    But I would work with the province with renewables where grants , subsidies and loans are made available.

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