South Nation Watershed – Go to bottom of posting to see details of Public Meetings on 25 & 27 February, 2013
As part of the campaign to preserve healthy Ontario rivers please note that a very valuable, rich and unique habitat containing numerous species-at-risk and holding the headwaters of several streams is at serious risk. This place is in Russell Township just outside the city of Ottawa in and around a former shale quarry, which is now a lake. Streams and springs rise up on the hill around the lake and drain into the Castor River, which drains into the South Nation and then the Ottawa. Species at Risk at the site include Bobolinks, Cooper’s Hawks, 10 species of amphibians (some at risk and some less so, although all amphibians have survival problems now), snapping and probably other turtles, Eastern Meadowlarks, Butternuts, rare Liverworts, several Mollusc species (snails), trees of increasing rarity, Orchids, and mosses, lichens and fungi. It is an important migration stopover point–at times hosting tens of thousands of birds at once.
That site is also the proposed site of a mega-landfill, which would be owned and run by Taggart Miller Environmental Services and called the Capital Region Resource Recovery Centre (CRRRC.ca). Taggarts own some of Ottawa’s biggest construction companies and Miller owns waste and construction companies in southern Ontario. They proposed to drain the 40-ac lake, fill it with rock and soil, blast a bigger hole beside it, and strip the site (which is between 200 and 470 ac, depending on if they exercise options on neighbouring farmland or not). The surrounding communities have been fighting the proposal for over two years. A few days before Christmas the Ontario Ministry of the Environment approved Taggart Miller’s Terms of Reference, even though serious problems with the vague, misleading document were clearly pointed out to the ministry by the community, which had completed their own scientific studies. Continue reading →