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The ghost cat

The ghost cat

Experts have long believed that 0ntario’s eastern cougar is locally extinct. But mounting evidence now suggests otherwise. Has the cat come back? Or did it never leave? By Douglas Hunter It was early autumn, 1968, and a teenaged Dave Anderson was booting along a gravel road in a light green Dodge half-ton pickup with his […]

Temperature rising

Temperature rising

From the lush Carolinian zone in the south to the spectacular boreal of the north, climate change threatens to bring forest ecosystems to the brink of collapse. Douglas Hunter reports on how global warming is changing Ontario’s landscape By Douglas Hunter In 1998, Stephen Murphy began noticing strangers in his neck of the woods. An […]

Troubled waters

Troubled waters

Ottawa still refuses to recognize the economic benefits of clean lakes. By Douglas Hunter   Illustration by Marco Cibola    On March 4, the Obama administration marshaled enough bipartisan support to table legislation in Congress for the five-year, $650-million-a-year Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The U.S. government is determined to deal with pollution hot spots […]

Foreign bodies

Foreign bodies

By Douglas Hunter Since their introduction in the 1960s to North America through fish farms and research facilities, Asian carp have become an environmental disaster. Having escaped Arkansas aquaculture farms, the invasive fish have established self-sustaining populations in the Mississippi River basin. Their northward migration reached a crisis point in late 2009, when Asian carp […]

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 […]

A forest divided

A forest divided

by Douglas Hunter The ability of hikers to coexist peacefully with dirt bikers and ATV drivers is being put to the test in the largest municipal forest in Ontario, as Simcoe County introduces a new policy aimed at ending unapproved and environmentally harmful use of off-road vehicles by giving their drivers approved places to play.

Climate Watch

Climate Watch

by Douglas Hunter In the summer of 2007, U.S. farmers were expected to plant the largest corn crop since 1944 to cash in on the boom in ethanol as an alternative fuel for use in combatting global warming. Meanwhile, an unpublished report by Environment Canada scientists found no statistical difference between tailpipe emissions of vehicles […]

Climate Watch

Climate Watch

by Douglas Hunter Canadian Bioenergy Corporation has put forward a proposal to build western Canada’s first large-scale biodiesel refinery near Edmonton, Alberta. It would produce an estimated 114 million litres a year from canola oil. The Government of Ontario announced a plan to introduce “green” licence plates in the spring of 2008 for fuel-efficient vehicles, […]

Ill winds

Ill winds

Is local opposition to wind turbines based on concern for wildlife or property values? by Douglas Hunter One of the most vexatious aspects of the effort to reduce our collective carbon footprint is the way we generate electricity. Although wind power may well be the most cost-effective, zero-emissions generator, it has also proven to be […]

Mining, yes. Ecotourism, not so much

Mining, yes.  Ecotourism, not so much

Wednesday July 22, 2009 Posted by: Douglas Hunter The coalition group Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay (CCMB) has lost a seven-year fight against a proposed traprock quarry on the eastern shore of eastern Superior. Its last-gasp attempt to stop the development was an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to overturn an amendment to […]

Great white birds

Great white birds

by Douglas Hunter When four American white pelicans touched down in Owen Sound harbour last May, their unexpected arrival made headlines. The sighting was one of several in the spring of 2008 in the central Great Lakes. Pelicans were also spotted on Michigan’s Saginaw Bay, at Cheboygan on the Straits of Mackinac and along Michigan’s […]

Muddy waters

Muddy waters

Aquaculture has been charged with multiple crimes against the environment. But today fish farms must abide by stringent regulations while many wild fish populations are being decimated. Can we learn to live with this industry?