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Northern exposure

Northern exposure

By Douglas Hunter Northern Ontario residents witnessing forestry companies’ large-scale spraying operations carried out from helicopters want to know why an activity that is considered harmful in the south is acceptable in their neck of the woods. Opposition has been growing to the use of products containing glyphosate, the active herbicide in weed killers such […]

Quarry given the green light

Quarry given the green light

By Douglas Hunter On July 15, the coalition group Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay (CCMB) lost a seven-year fight against a proposed traprock quarry on the eastern shore of Lake Superior. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) declined to overturn an amendment the municipality of Wawa made to its official plan that allows Superior Aggregates Co. […]

Bringing back the chestnut

Bringing back the chestnut

By Allan Britnell Reforesting vast swaths of eastern North America with a hybrid version of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) could lead to a revival of this endangered species, as well as offer a potential solution to climate change. The towering icon, which can reach heights of 30 metres, was once the dominant species in […]

Seeds of discontent

Seeds of discontent

By Bob Gordon Located in Kingston, Frontenac Institution is a minimum-security federal prison that includes one of six prison farms operated by Corcan, the employment training arm of Corrections Services Canada (CSC). For more than 60 years, inmates have farmed its 360 hectares. The Kingston area is home to a cluster of CSC institutions that […]

Government approved sprawl

Government approved sprawl

The environmental assessment (EA) process, which is explored in “Why we can’t save this forest” [Autumn 2009], was created, in essence, to protect important ecological attributes. The sad fact is that now it is used to “green light” controversial developments. The most disturbing case where the EA process has been misused is for the approved […]

An ill wind

An ill wind

The Province’s green energy act isn’t so green when wind farms threaten sensitive habitat and wildlife. By Douglas Hunter In November 2008, environmental groups and the energy industry south of the border announced a remarkable collaboration. They formed the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) with the aim of ensuring that locations for wind farms are […]

The big picture

The big picture

By Caroline Schultz This issue of ON Nature is focused on climate change against the backdrop of the December 2009 conference in Copenhagen on worldwide strategies to combat global warming. So it’s an opportune time to consider what Ontario Nature is doing to address this vast issue in our own backyard. Individuals and organizations have […]

Unwelcome visitors

Unwelcome visitors

By Sharon Oosthoek Fisheries biologists have unexpectedly discovered round gobies in the Thames, Sydenham, Ausable and Grand rivers and are now sounding the alarm over how this invasive fish may affect endangered species. The Great Lakes tributaries, Canada’s most diverse aquatic ecosystem, were long thought to be immune to such an invasion because, since each […]

A natural gem

A natural gem

This fall, Ontario Nature hosted a well-attended conservation fair at its Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve in partnership with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The fair, which attracted some 350 participants, was one of 10 events that Ontario Nature co-sponsored with OPG in 2009. Each is intended to connect families from urban and suburban areas across the […]

Chimney swift

Chimney swift

  A once familiar urban dweller, Ontario’s latest official bird at risk is in free fall and global warming may be the key cause. By Tim Tiner Unlike most imperilled species, Ontario’s newest official bird at risk is a high-flying ace long familiar in the cities and towns of the province. In September, Queen’s Park […]