south-march-highlands-trail-d-deby

Written by Denise Deby.

Trees are again being cut down in Ottawa’s South March Highlands.

KNL is removing trees from 75-100 hectares of land in the Highlands, one of Ottawa’s most biodiverse areas, in preparation for construction. They’re required to take measures to mitigate against harming species at risk (including Blanding’s turtles, Least bitterns and butternut trees) and other wildlife.

Residents are concerned, though, that destroying the trees now will destroy hibernating wildlife and their habitat, including shelter and food sources. Some have started a petition, available here.

The petition is directed to the owners of Richcraft and Urbandale (the companies behind KNL), the mayor and city councillor, and the Ontario minister of natural resources and forestry. On Monday, January 23, 2017, a group of citizens will take the petition to City Hall (12:30 p.m. at the Lisgar Street entrance–weather permitting–or the information booth in the main atrium).

The Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital has also sent a letter to Mayor Watson, emphasizing the significance of the area, the harm being done to this ecologically important area, and the need to take action to protect the city’s natural spaces.

This tree cutting is happening in the context of a long struggle to protect the area from development. Citizens’ and environmental groups’ actions and support have slowed but not prevented the loss of ecological, geographical and cultural heritage.

Added Jan. 24: Here’s an update on the petition presentation.

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