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By Martin Zeilig

Voxair Photojournalist

Voxair, 17 Wing Winnipeg, 19 November, 2014 pg. 9

St. Charles Rifle Range: A Tall Grass Prairie Wonderland

http://thevoxair.ca/

As the early November wind sliced across the desolate
landscape, Mark Dettman, the 17 Wing Environmental
Officer, trudged through the tall grass prairie
portion of the 1200-acre St. Charles Rifle Range, located
10 kilometres west of 17 Wing Winnipeg.
Tall grass prairie is among the most endangered habitats
in North America, but these sites are not protected
under any current legislation.
“We have not yet identified any species at risk at this
site, and thus it’s technically not protected by Federal
or Provincial legislation,” Dettman said of the acres of
dried out grassland that surrounded us on that bleak
and blustery afternoon.
Recent developments just to the east of the range
seems to point to its inclusion in the Phase 2 expansion
of CentrePort Canada, the inland port designed to provide
businesses with single-window access to Free Trade
Zone benefits.
Phase 2 of the project would see the construction of
a Headingly by-pass that, according to Dettman, “would
cut through the southern portion of the range, putting
its use as a small weapons range and EOD facility at
risk.”
He is hoping that at least a portion of this tall grass
prairie will be saved if and when that expansion goes
through.
The St Charles Range was donated to the Department
of National Defence in 1911 by Sir Henry Pallot. It
provides Canadian Armed Forces personnel at both 17
Wing and 38 Canadian Brigade Group enough room to
safely conduct small arms weapon training and qualification,
gas mask training and qualification, and navigation
training.
As an accidental by-product of its ownership, the
range also contains 250 acres of high quality tall grass
prairie.
In the early ‘90s, former RCAF Chief Environmental
Officer Lewis Cocks began working with ecologist John
Morgan, a prairie restoration specialist and president of
Prairie Habitats Inc., and Scott Edwards, the very first
Environmental Officer at 17 Wing, to implement measures
to manage and protect the tall grass prairie at the
range.
“With the cooperation of Nature Manitoba and World
Wildlife Fund Canada, the DND has set aside the Saint
Charles Range as a conservation area. Importantly,
DND has shown that military training and conservation
are very compatible,” says Morgan. “The area has been
managed with controlled burns that mimic the fires that
tall grass prairies are adapted to and
keep it healthy.”
Morgan says that even as a child he
knew he wanted to be an ecologist and
that he would spend hours admiring
the wildlife and flowers of the range.
“We lived just a mile away.
Throughout school and university, I
spent many hours rambling around
the wilds of the St. Charles area and
Sturgeon Creek on the western outskirts
of Winnipeg. My main interest
always was the natural history.”
It was not until 1993, however, that
Morgan and an assistant were finally
able to get the blessing of the Department
of National Defence to do a formal
inventory of the range.
“What we found was amazing,”
he says. “There are over 90 species
of plants and many prairie birds and
mammals on a rare, undocumented
piece of tall grass prairie.”
According to Dettman, Morgan’s
work on the site proved invaluable.
“His work is directly responsible
for 17 Wing taking the action that it has to protect and
manage the site,” Dettman says.
At over 1,000 acres, it is one of the largest parcels of
tall grass prairie remaining in the Winnipeg area.
“DND had done a magnificent job of preserving the
area for nearly a hundred years without even realizing
the gem they had,” says Morgan. Currently, only small
fragments of tall grass prairie have been preserved
around Winnipeg. One such fragment can be found at
the Living Prairie Museum off Ness Ave., which is less
than four percent of the size
of the St. Charles Range.
Morgan, who says he’s
not against the development,
stressed what an
important habitat the St
Charles Rifle Range is.
“My fervent hope is that
DND can find a way to continue
their century-long
track record of good conservation
at the St. Charles
Range, and continue to ensure
that this priceless part
of Manitoba and Canada’s
natural and cultural history remains secure.”
Back in the warmth of his car, Dettman says that the
needs of 17 Wing would not, in his words, “trump” those
of CentrePort’s planned Phase 2.
“Currently 17 Wing is in discussions with the Province
of Manitoba about the potential impact of CentrePort
Phase 2 on the range. Although the Wing will work
diligently to protect its interests and needs with regards
to the importance of the range, I am still uncertain about
the range’s long-term future,” says Dettman

Tuesday September 30th 2014

http://greenactioncentre.ca/event/winnipeg-all-candidate-mayoral-forum-environment-on-the-agenda/

friends of little mountain park inc.


Agenda

Thursday September 11th, 2014

7:00 - 8:30 PM

Room 1W09

The University of Winnipeg


Approval of Agenda


Approval of Minutes of July 9th, 2014


  1. Introduction of Steering Committee Members, and special guests, Alana LaJoie O’Malley and Tannis  Jury


2.   Motion to adopt modified Robert’s Rules of Order as official procedural rule.


3.   Confirmation of  Steering Committee Officers and their term of service:  Chair,  Deputy Chair, Secretary, Treasurer.


  1. a)  Review and adoption of:

    • Draft Letter of introduction

    • PR statement:  “Why should you care about LMP.”

    • Constitution/ Mission Statement

b)   -  Survey questions for stakeholders   -  Alana LaJoie O’Malley


  1. Status of Incorporation - advice from counsel.


  1. Action Plan (see attached chart)


  1. Business Arising.

 

  1. Adjourn


    CATEGORY

    ACTION

    PERSON RESPONSIBLE

    TARGET DATE

    COMMUNICATION:

    DESIGN LOGO AND OFFICIAL LETTERHEAD




    CREATE STAKEHOLDER MAILING LIST




    EXPEDITE INTRO LETTER MAILING




    DESIGN AND EXPEDITE SURVEY




    WEBSITE MAINTENANCE




    DEVELOP PHOTO ESSAY ON THE FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE PARK



    NETWORKING

    RECRUIT MAN. NATURALIST SOCIETY




    RECRUIT DAVID VAN VLIET - URBAN PLANNER AT U OF M




    RECRUIT DEAN SPEARMAN - LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT




    IDENTIFY AND SPEAK WITH RELEVANT POLITICIANS




    DEVELOP SALES PITCH FOR RECRUITING OTHER LMP GROUPS



    FUNDRAISING

    ANALYZE REQUIREMENTS




    DEVISE PROCESS FOR RAISING FUNDS










Urban environment group opposes 'Katz clone' idea to sell golf courses

27
BY  ,WINNIPEG SUN

FIRST POSTED: SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2014 06:20 PM CDT | UPDATED: SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2014 06:30 PM CDT

QMI_WS20140728KK02

Ron Mazur of Outdoor Urban Recreation Spaces is pictured at Crescent Drive Golf Course on Sun., July 27, 2014. Mazur is working to protect city-owned golf courses from those who would sell them off to help pay for infrastructure improvements. Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun/QMI Agency

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The local committee that started a drive to save some of Winnipeg's golf courses three years ago plans to take swings at any mayoral candidate who wants to sell them if elected this fall.

Ron Mazur, co-chair of Outdoor Urban Recreation Spaces (OURS) Winnipeg, responded to the announcement by candidate Gord Steves that he would peddle four public golf courses to developers and use the estimated $100,000 revenue to fix our roads.

"It's a hare-brained idea," Mazur said Sunday. "It's like selling your furniture to buy gas for your car."

Steeves would reportedly sell the Kildonan Park, Windsor Park, John Blumberg and Crescent Drive courses.

OURS-Winnipeg started a petition to protest the idea of either selling or leasing city-owned courses when Mayor Sam Katz first proposed doing so three years ago, and about 8,500 people signed it.

"I'm not sure if we're going to start another petition, but we want those 8,500 to get involved in the active campaigns and tell the candidates that we want to keep the public golf courses (as) public golf courses," Mazur said. "These courses are under pressure but we want to keep those greenspaces.

"These are the jewels of the city and if we lose them to residential developers, that greenspace would be lost forever. Windsor Park has an elaborate cross-country skiing setup in the winter time. Other courses are also used for skiing and snowshoeing and dog parks during the winter."

Mazur and his co-chairs, Wilma Sotas and Pam Lucenkiw, plan to interview each mayoral candidate and will publicize the respective opinions on the Steeves proposal. They will support those who want to keep the public courses.

"There's a real value in publicly-accessible golf courses for ordinary Winnipeggers, and those who cannot afford to play on private golf courses," said Mazur, who does not golf himself. "What Steeves is proposing will affect the public negatively."

Besides, the golf courses can at least break even, Mazur said.

"If they are properly managed, they can break even and even make money," said Mazur, adding that their finances are being adjusted to be similar to city-run swimming pools.

"This city has been badly managed," said Mazur, who works as a consultant. "There are other ways to raise revenues ... We're not against development but there are vast areas of public surface parking lots downtown that can and should be developed.

"Selling golf courses is just a quick, easy solution ... Winnipeg does not need a Katz clone as mayor."

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Twitter: @bendersun

Agenda

Friends of Little Mountain Park

July 09 2014

President’s Boardroom - Wesley Hall University of Winnipeg


Agenda:

1.  Introduction and conference with William Dowie

2.  Plan of action and discussion

  • Scope of area

  • Inclusion of Business and residences

  • Ideas and wording on letter of Introduction of ‘Friends’ program.

  • Goals

 

3.  Other Business