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I caught the R.M. 's crew dumping waste water or mud in the quarry today. The parks people are looking into it. I've contacted City council and the R.M. as well.

Conservancy group opposes clean fill dumping near Little Mountain Park

 

Part of the naturalized wetland at the former site of the Little Mountain Quarry across from Little Mountain Park in the Rural Municipality of Rosser. (Adam Peleshaty/The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times) 

SHAREADJUSTCOMMENTPRINT

A conservancy group is opposing the RM of Rosser’s plans to dump clean fill in an abandoned quarry which now acts as a wetland.

The Little Mountain Park Conservancy Group stated their case to council for the Rural Municipality of Rosser at their council meeting on March 26. The group claims the RM is using their 16-acre parcel of the land, located across from Little Mountain Park on the north side of Farmer Road, as a dumping ground for clean fill produced by a neighbouring sewer and water installation project for CentrePort. It fears the RM will also use the location on a permanent basis.

Karen Zoppa, secretary for the Little Mountain Park Conservancy Group, said the location is a “habitat that requires protection.”

“We’re willing to accept (the project) as a short-term thing, but as the footprint is encroached, we started to get concerned,” she said.

The naturalized wetland was the former site of the Little Mountain Quarry which ceased operations a century ago. While the group could not survey the entire site as it is private property, the group assumes, just like Little Mountain Park, that the land supports numerous bird, mammal and plant species, some of which are threatened and endangered.

“We’ve lost 90% of our wetlands in the last 50 years. There is presently a very big push to try to protect wetlands and the most important aspect of this particular wetland besides drainage and filtering of agricultural chemicals is the life that it supports,” Zoppa added.

Rosser CAO Larry Wandowich wrote in an email to The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Timesthat placing the fill at the former quarry site “will save our ratepayers ultimate costs associated with the local improvement project.”

He also wrote that the province’s Mineral Resources department had no objections to the RM’s plans with regards to the environment and that their plans are consistent with the province’s own sustainable development practices regarding site rehabilitation and remediation. He also stated that the RM searched for any at-risk species registered at the property and found none.

Zoppa understands that it can be difficult for municipalities to find locations to unload clean fill and even appreciated Wandowich’s transparency on the matter, but she still believes that another location should be more suitable.

“Fill is valuable,” she said. “When you dump it into this quarry wetland, it’s no longer available to you without much greater expense and you’re just disrupting a really beautiful ecosystem … We think they have other options and we are asking them to take them

Please find attached the Notes we presented to the Rosser RM Council on Tuesday March 26th.
The meeting was short and terse.  After cooling our heels well past our 7:30 PM appointment, we were rushed through our position and cut off before making our final argument - which is simply that a municipality the size of Rosser can surely find alternative land for "fill" dumping rather than ruin a 100year old naturalized habitat.
 
We are going to contact the owners of the major portion of the quarry wetland, and I am also going to alert The Free Press rural beat reporter - Bill Redekopp.
 

Notes for RM Rosser Council/

Little Mountain Park Conservancy Group Meeting

Tuesday March 26th, 2019

The Issue:

Rosser RM filling their portion of the quarry wetland north of Farmer Rd. off Klimpke Rd.

Background: 

-The Rosser CAO informs us that the RM want to fill their portion of the site with construction fill – and to perhaps create a permanent dump for fill to encourage constructions firms to stop illegal dumping on agricultural lands in the RM.

- He informs us Rosser RM is also looking for a site for RM vehicle storage and maintenance.

- We understand the inference is that the RM may approach the owner of the rest of the quarry wetland to sell to the RM for one or both of these purposes.

 

LMPCG position:

That the RM of Rosser council NOT pursue the rest of the quarry wetland for dumping.

The Quarry Wetland:

This retired quarry site has functioned as a naturalized wetland for nearly a century, when the Little Mountain Quarry ceased to be used by the City of Winnipeg.  It is filled with water most of the year, and supports a prairie ecosystem of birds, mammals, amphibians and plants.  Although we cannot survey this site precisely, we assume that it supports the same species as the south quarry and adjacent conservation prairie, including the following species observed at the Little Mountain Park Site, all of which are listed as threatened or endangered:

    Golden-winged Warble (Vermivora chrysoptera)

    Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

    Hairy Prairie-Clover (Dalea villosa)

    Riddell's Goldenrod (Solidago riddellii)   

    Western Silvery Aster (Symphyotrichum sericeum)   

    Western Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis)

    Small White Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium candidum) -   

    Western Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata)

Benefits of maintaining this wetland:

The benefits of this habitat are economic as well as ecologically sound:  the migratory songbirds that visit these copses of trees and tall grass prairie sites provide, according to the December 2019 Canada Gazette,

  1. Nutrient cycling and seed dispersal: Many bird species, including the migratory birds listed in this Order, distribute nutrients derived from the consumption of insects, fruit, seeds and fishfootnote 19 and disperse seeds within ecosystems;
  2. Birding and eco-tourism: According to the 2012 Canadian Nature Survey,( footnote 20) 4.7 million Canadians engage in birding activities yearly (18% of 2012 Canadian population.(footnote 21) On average, birding participants spent 133 days and $201 (Can$ 2012) per participant engaging in this activity;
  3. Pest and weed control: Many bird species, such as the ones listed in this proposed Order, are also beneficial to plants and crops by controlling pests on agricultural land since a large percentage of their summer diet is composed of crop-damaging insects (i.e. caterpillars, grasshoppers, ants, wasps, flies, beetles, mayflies):

Consequences of Restoration

The total restoration of this wetland to grade will, first of all, destroy this valuable habitat in an era of public will to restore the tall grass prairie and mixed woodland environment.

According to the wetland specialists at MHHC, the benefit to society of the quarry wetland  area as it is outweighs the small cost of hauling that fill to the dump, other RM owned lands, or renting land to store it on nearby, where it can be retrieved as needed in time.

Dumping done by the RM may encourage other individuals to follow suit and turn the area into an unsupervised dumping site for household and other waste.  The damage of these actions would not be limited to its effects on the wetland and local wildlife, but to the aquifer in the area, as the water in the old quarry is likely a part of that system, and will serve as a conduit to contaminate area wells, and the aquifer as a whole. 

The cost of that kind of damage is exponentially greater than whatever we are talking about with respect to the existing wetland loss.

Finally, dumping “clean fill” in this way renders it unavailable for re-use, at great cost to the citizens of Rosser, who are also ratepayers.

Sources Cited

“Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act.” Canada

     Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 52: (December 29, 2018).

Manitoba Habitat and Heritage Corporation.  E-mail interview.  March 14,

       2019.

Manitoba Conservation:  Manitoba Species at Risk.  DOI March 13th, 2019.

SOURCES - extracts:

Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 52: Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (December 29, 2018).

Statutory authority - Species at Risk Act

Sponsoring department:  Department of the Environment

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

Threatened, endangered  (footnote 12) and extirpated

Section 32 of SARA provides protection for individuals of the species everywhere they are found in Canada against being killed, harmed, harassed, captured or taken.

Section 32 of SARA also prohibits the possession, collection, buying, selling or trading of an individual of the species or any part or derivative of this individual.

Under the MBCA, individuals and their eggs receive protection everywhere they are found in Canada.

Section 33 of SARA prohibits the damage or destruction of the residence of one or more individuals of a threatened or endangered species everywhere they are found in Canada.

The residence of extirpated species is only protected if a recovery strategy recommends reintroduction into the wild.Under the MBCA, nests and nest shelters are protected everywhere they are found in Canada.

Species proposed for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA

Evening Grosbeak  - Coccothraustes vespertinus

None  Special concern  Everywhere in Canada except Nunavut

Lark Bunting - Calamospiza melanocory

None   Threatened  Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus

None  Special concern  Everywhere in Canada

Total economic value

Using the total economic value framework, the analysis found that the birds in the proposed Order provide many direct benefits to Canadians (i.e. use value), for example

  1. Nutrient cycling and seed dispersal: Many bird species, including the migratory birds listed in this Order, distribute nutrients derived from the consumption of insects, fruit, seeds and fish(footnote 19) and disperse seeds within ecosystems;
  2. Birding and eco-tourism: According to the 2012 Canadian Nature Survey, (footnote 20) 4.7 million Canadians engage in birding activities yearly (18% of 2012 Canadian population.(footnote 21) On average, birding participants spent 133 days and $201 (Can$ 2012) per participant engaging in this activity;
    1. Pest and weed control: Many bird species, such as the ones listed in this proposed Order, are also beneficial to plants and crops by controlling pests on agricultural land since a large percentage of their summer diet is composed of crop-damaging insects (i.e. caterpillars, grasshoppers, ants, wasps, flies, beetles, mayflies): (footnote 22)

            (a) For example, the McCown’s Longspur feeds their young almost exclusively grasshoppers (90% of their diet). The Lark Bunting also relies heavily on grasshoppers for their diet. These species could act as a pest control. In the past, there have been programs with the federal government,(footnote 23) in collaboration with academia and private industry, with extensive budgets for projects to encourage non-pesticide alternatives for grasshopper control in Alberta. This indicates there is a value to the agricultural industry of controlling the grasshopper population.

    1. Existence value: Several studies estimate willingness to pay values for the preservation of iconic or charismatic species, concluding that rare species generally attract higher values than non-rare ones, and thus provide larger social benefits. A key meta-analysis (footnote 24) on threatened and endangered species has found that U.S. households are willing to pay, on average, between $24.81 and $133.57 per household per year to avoid the loss of one iconic bird species. These studies may be indicative of the value that Canadian individuals or households place on the species in this proposed Order.

            (a) One study (footnote 25) estimated that an average household in the Netherlands is willing to pay the equivalent of $24.70 annually for the protection of endangered migratory birds.

    1. Co-benefits: Protection of one species can also provide additional protection of another species or valuable ecosystem. For example, the Louisiana Waterthrush requires an area-specific habitat that is especially pristine, with high fish abundance and high ecological status for anglers. Lark Bunting and McCown’s Longspurs share native grassland habitat with multiple other wildlife species. The protection measures put in place to protect these two birds will benefit other species who share the same habitat.

    Finally, there is also an option value associated with these species, i.e. Canadian residents and firms may hold a value associated with the preservation of Canadian genetic information that may be used in the future for biological, medicinal, genetic engineering and other applications. Economic theory also suggests there is a benefit to erring on the side of avoiding an irreversible outcome (i.e. extinction).(footnote 26)

    Manitoba Habitat and Heritage Corporation

    The benefit to society of the quarry wetland  area as it is outweighs the small cost of hauling that fill to the dump, other RM owned lands, or renting land to store it on nearby, where it can be retrieved as needed in time.

     

    Dumping done by the RM will cause other individuals to follow suit and turn the area into an unsupervised dumping site for household and other waste.  The damage of these actions would not be limited to its effects on the wetland and local wildlife, but to the aquifer in the area, as the water in the old quarry is likely a part of that system, and will serve as a conduit to contaminate area wells, and the aquifer as a whole.  The cost of that kind of damage is in a different ballpark than whatever we are talking about with respect to the existing wetland loss.

    Manitoba Conservation List of Endangered Species – BOLD TYPE indicates sighting at LMP.

    Endangered:

        Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii)

        Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

        Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus)

        Dusky Dune Moth (Copablepharon longipenne)

        Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis)

        Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)

        Gold-edged Gem (Schinia avemensis)

        Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)

        Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)

        Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)

        Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

        Mapleleaf Mussel (Quadrula quadrula)

        Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)

        Pale Yellow Dune Moth (Copablepharon grandis)

        Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

        Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

        Poweshiek Skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek)

        Prairie Skink (Eumeces septentrionalis)

        Red Knot rufa subspecies (Calidris canutus rufa)

        Ross's Gull (Rhodostethia rosea)

        Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)

        Whooping Crane (Grus americana)

        Uncas Skipper (Hesperia uncas)

        Verna's Flower Moth (Schinia verna)

        White Flower Moth (Schinia bimatris)

     Threatened:

       Boreal Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou)

        Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagic)

        Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis)

        Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)

        Dakota Skipper (Hesperia dacotae)

        Golden-winged Warble (Vermivora chrysoptera)

        Great Plains Toad (Bufo cognatus) - french version

        Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus)

        Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi)

        Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe)

        Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

        Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

        Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii)

        Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

        Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus)

        Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus)

     Extirpated:

       Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)

        Grizzly Or Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

        Kit or Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)

        Long-Billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)

        Muskox (Ovibos moschatus)

        Plains Bison (Bison bison bison)

        Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)

        Riding's Satyr (Neominois ridingsii)

     Plants

     Endangered:

      Gastony's Cliffbrake (Pellaea gastonyi)

        Gattinger's Agalinis (Agalinis gattingeri)

        Great Plains Ladies'-Tresses (Spiranthes magnicamporum)

        Rough Agalinis (Agalinis aspera)

        Smooth Goosefoot (Chenopodium subglabrum)

        Small White Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium candidum) –

        Western Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata)

        Western Prairie Fringed-orchid (Platanthera praeclara)

     Threatened:

         Buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides)

        Culver's-root (Veronicastrum virginicum) - french version

        Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

        Hairy Prairie-Clover (Dalea villosa)

        Riddell's Goldenrod (Solidago riddellii)

        Western Silvery Aster (Symphyotrichum sericeum)

        Western Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis)

     

    Bill 7 :  THE SUSTAINABLE WATERSHEDS ACT (VARIOUS ACTS AMENDED)

    The Lake Winnipeg Foundation and International Institute for Sustainable Development say they were encouraged last June when the province committed in principle to a "no net loss of wetland benefits" and passed the Sustainable Watersheds Act, or Bill 7.

    3rd Session, 41st Legislature

    This HTML version is provided for ease of use and is based on the bilingual version that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.

    Restoring wetland as condition of issuing licence

    5.1(1)      Before the minister issues a licence that authorizes activities that would result in the loss or alteration of a prescribed class of wetland, the applicant must have taken one of the actions specified in subsection (2) to ensure that there is no net loss of wetland benefits.

     

 

 
 

Good afternoon,

Thank you for providing feedback on the City of Winnipeg’s Off Leash Dog Areas Master Plan (OLAMP). In the final round of engagement, 267 people completed an online survey to provide input on the draft plan. An update on how input affected the final plan is now available on the project page.<http://winnipeg.ca/PPD/PublicEngagement/OffLeashAreas/default.stm>
The OLAMP will act as a reference guide for the public to provide clear policy and processes that illustrate how Winnipeg's Off-leash Areas (OLAs) are sited and established, while also providing various City departments with guidance for the planning, design, management, and evaluation of current and future OLAs.
An administrative report<http://clkapps.winnipeg.ca/dmis/ViewDoc.asp?DocId=17184&SectionId=&InitUrl=> outlining the results of the public engagement process and the Off-Leash Dog Areas Master Plan (OLAMP) is now available.  The report will be presented to Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services, and Parks on July 3, 2018. The recommendations in the report will be subject to Council approval. Should you want to register as a delegation<http://winnipeg.ca/clerks/council/delegation.stm>, please contact City Clerk’s<http://winnipeg.ca/shared/mailforms/city/contact.asp?Recipient=CityClerks>.
To learn more about the Off Leash Dog Areas Master Plan, please visit winnipeg.ca/offleashareas<http://winnipeg.ca/PPD/PublicEngagement/OffLeashAreas/default.stm#tab-engage>.

What a fantastic group of people! Still fighting for the park.

 

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