Niagara Escarpment Commission continues to close down archery shop

MNR and NEC continue the battle to remove archery business and shop from private property.

The Niagara Escarpment Commission bolstered by big brother government arm of the Ministry of Natural Resources continues their fight to remove Mackie’s Archery Shop and training business from his property in Lincoln.

Mackie’s legal nightmare with the government started when NEC’s official plan for restoration decided archery had no place on the Niagara Escarpment and was now in non-compliance. They proceeded to charge Mackie in an attempt to have the building removed and his business shut down. Fighting back with limited resources and support has taken its toll on the Mackie family over the past few years.

Mackie archery range was often used by the Beamsville archery team and local Olympic archers used for training. His range also had a program for handicapped individuals with support from the town. Mackie’s fifteen acre property is both his home and livelihood.

The Ontario Landowners Association stepped in to help Bob with his legal fight with the NEC and MNR, Numerous court appearances resulted in appeal after appeal in an attempt to resolve the long lasting dispute.

This week another day in a Niagara court may decide Bob’s fate to see if he can continue his archery business on his own property or not.

To give Bob some support log onto his web site

Renfrew Man Fined $4,000 for Illegal Spring Fishing

MNR Media Release

A Renfrew man has been fined $4,000 and prohibited from fishing activity for two years.

Lee Wilkes pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a spear, fishing at night and possessing an over limit of fish. The fish and all the equipment used by Wilkes in relation to these charges were forfeited to the Crown. Charges for a second person are still before the court.

Court heard that on April 8, 2010, Lee Wilkes and a second person went to Moira Lake in the Municipality of Centre Hastings to fish. When they were stopped by conservation officers, Wilkes was found to be in possession of 25 walleye and two bass. The open season for both species started later in the year.

Justice of the Peace Ernie Parsons heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Belleville, on July 20, 2010.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry officer during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Invading Species Hotline for Giant Hogweed

Beware of Giant Hogweed Plant species invading Ontario

Giant Hogweed isn’t new to Ontario, but the public has recently become much more aware of it. As a result, the phone lines for the toll free Invading Species Hotline have been ringing constantly with questions and concerns from landowners about the invasive plant that is spreading across Ontario. The hotline is a service of the Invading Species Awareness Program, a partnership of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

Also known as giant cow parsnip, giant hogweed was brought over to North America from Asia in the 1800’s as a garden plant, but like many nonnative species, has become naturalized. It is a perennial and can grow to five meters in height, with flowers that form an umbrella shaped top. When the sap, found throughout the plant, comes in contact with the skin it causes photodermatitis, so that when the skin is exposed to sunlight it blisters and burns. Contact with the eyes can cause temporary or permanent blindness.

Given its immense size and noxious effects, the O.F.A.H. and the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) are urging those dealing with the plant to seek professional help in removing it, or at the very least, to learn how to safely remove the plant and fully protect themselves before proceeding.

“Giant Hogweed arrived here decades ago, when very little was understood about the potential impacts of introducing nonnative species to an environment,” says Francine MacDonald, O.F.A.H. Invading Species Program Manager. “Today, we have a far greater understanding of invasive species, yet unfortunately, we continue to allow the import of hundreds of species of plants into this country without the benefit of any risk assessment to determine if they present a threat.”

Rachel Gagnon, OIPC Coordinator, cautions gardeners to be aware of what they are bringing home. “There are over 440 known invasive plants in Ontario, and while giant hogweed is certainly not new to the province, it does appear to be spreading. One of the primary ways that invasive plants, such as giant hogweed, are spread is by people who unknowingly plant them around their homes.”

The OIPC is a non-profit, multi-agency organization comprised of conservation authorities, academic institutions, aboriginal organizations, stewardship networks, private consultants, industry and environmental non-government organizations, as well as all levels of government. The OIPC works to facilitate a coordinated provincial response to the growing threat of invasive plants. To learn more, visit www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca.

The O.F.A.H./MNR Invading Species Awareness Program works to educate and engage the public in preventing the spread of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in Ontario. To learn more, or to report a sighting of an invasive species, visit www.invadingspecies.com

Or call the live HOTLINE 1-800-563-7711 weekdays 9-5

Kids Wanted for Youth Outdoors Day

The 9th annual Youth Outdoors Opportunity Day is fast approaching on September 18th.

YOD was started by several conservation groups and agencies.  First organized by the Guelph District Ministry of Natural Resources, along with a team of dedicated volunteers, and countless partners, the event attracts over 250 youth annually.

It is a day designed for families interested in becoming involved in outdoor activities and their environment.

Participation and popularity of this event is increasing with each passing year as word is getting out. Kids are reconnected to the great outdoors and are given opportunities to participate in bird banding, wood carving, target shooting and fly fishing along with many other outdoor related activities.

Connecting kids with natural resources and teaching them how to enjoy the outdoors fosters a new generation that cares about the environment and its conservation.

Volunteers spend time with the kids (aged 10-17) teaching them how to enjoy these outdoor sports safely.

All equipment for the events is provided so that those that may not own a fishing rod or a bow and arrow can still learn the skills. Not only are kids given hands on opportunities to participate in outdoor sports and activities, but they are also introduced to the importance of nature and wildlife and are encouraged to enjoy and respect the beauty of our natural resources.

The day offers a wide range of hands-on activities and demonstration so all participants are sure to find something to enjoy that reflects their personal interests.

• Archery

• Bird identification, banding and callingYouth Outdoors Day

• Fly fishing and fly tying

• Wetlands discovery

• Wild turkey display

• Fish ID and Casting

• Camping equipment and site set-up

• Retriever and pointer dog demonstration

• MNR canine demonstration

• Bird house building

• Wood carving demonstration

• Target shooting

• Trapping techniques

• Nature’s Corner

• Taxidermy techniques

• Falconry demonstration

Space is limited to just 200 kids

Please register online at

www.youthoutdoorday.com

or by mail

1 Stone Road W.

Guleph, On.

N1G 4Y2

You can also email YOD

info@youthoutdoorsday.com

or PHONE 519-826-4922

Hunting or Fishing on Crown Land may get windy

Prospectors hope to turn Crown Land claim into a big payday

Credit: Written by Rick Conroy, Wellington Times, wellingtontimes.ca 15 July 2010

Trillium Power Wind has never built or managed an industrial wind energy facility. The company has never erected a single industrial wind turbine. Yet it says it wants to erect the largest offshore wind energy project the world has yet seen, right here in Lake Ontario—17 kilometres from Long Point in Prince Edward County.

Trillium Power Wind brought its story to Picton last Wednesday following a roadshow in Napanee and in advance of another in Cape Vincent, New York on Thursday.

Trillium’s current story involves 138 industrial wind turbines erected in a V-shaped clump on a shelf of shallow water that rims the deepest part of the lake between Long Point and Lost Nation National Forest on the U.S. side of the lake—a shelf punctuated by series of islands known as the Ducks, including Main Duck and False Duck.

It is not the first time Trillium has peddled its grand ambition for capturing Lake Ontario wind to a County audience. It seems, however, little has changed in four years since Trillium was last here—other than its name (formerly Trillium Power Energy Corporation) and perhaps a more receptive regulatory regime.

Last year the McGuinty government enacted the Green Energy Act—lowering public safeguards to ease the path for wind developers, and upping the incentives to these developers through the rich feed-in tariff program. If successful, the Trillium project could earn 19 cents per kilowatt hour for 20 years for the developer—a lucrative premium over the average price the province pays for other sources of energy (3 cents per kWh).

Yet the project has barely budged in four years. Trillium was forced to cool its heels for two years after the Ontario government imposed a moratorium on offshore wind projects in 2006.

Then the meltdown of the worldwide financial system in 2008 led to the collapse of the sector needed to finance these large capital projects.

So it is that four years later Trillium is back, trying to craft a story it can use to attract investors and lenders. It has a steep hill to climb.

Trillium neither has the capital to undertake the $1.7 billion price tag, nor does it have a track record in building or managing projects of this scale. Without a track record the project is unlikely to attract investment. Banks and investors are hoarding cash and lending extremely cautiously in the wake of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

Trillium is betting that financial markets will be more receptive in a year or two.

Trillium principal John Kourtoff gave the Picton presentation a pass; instead, Chief Development Officer Martin Parker answered questions for the wind developer.

Parker said he sees signs that the capital markets may be opening slightly for wind projects, pointing to a recent €300 million financing of a Belgian offshore wind project. That financing, however, was provided by the European Investment Bank, an arm of the European Union. It is hardly an indicator of easing credit markets.

“The market is coming around,” said Parker optimistically. “The question is: when we are ready to build, will the market be ready to finance the project? That we don’t know.”

But what about Trillium’s lack of experience and track record? Parker says Trillium will hire the experience it lacks and form partnerships to fill in its limitations. He points to its partnership with Vestas—the Danish supplier of wind turbines. Parker did not provide details of the partnership and how it would work, except to say Vestas wasn’t a financial partner.

“We will bring in people with a track record,” said Parker. “Vestas is the number one manufacturer of wind turbines in the world. We will bring them in as our project manager. They have experience in the European theatre.”

Why should Ontario and New York residents entrust this critical waterway, migratory bird pathway and marine life to a firm without a track record or experience in constructing such a massive project on Crown land?

“The only way I can answer that question is to say that everything we’ve done has been mindful of doing what is good for Ontario. And we will continue to do that.”

Parker says he hopes to have environmental studies completed by the end of this year. Many believe this is an ambitious time line but even Parker acknowledges all of Trillium’s plans hinge on the company’s ability to raise financing.

“If the environmental studies show that everything is okay it is conceivable that we could begin construction next year with turbines starting to go up in 2013—that is if the markets are receptive then.”

Bob Mackie Day Bar B Q and Fundraiser

ONTARIO LANDOWNERS ASSOCIATION (OLA) PRESENTS  “BOB MACKIE DAY”

Barbecue and Fundraiser

Bob Mackie has fought an uphill battle against government overregulation for close to five years.

The Mackie family, owners of Mackie’s Mountain Archery, are hard working and have created a magnificently groomed world class piece of countryside designed with native trees, described as the prototype for sound planning for the escarpment rural property.

Yet he’s been told the passive recreational sport doesn’t comply with the NEC plan, it’s not a permitted use on the agriculture-zoned land and was ordered to close the range, remove any signs related to the business and restore the property.

Bob Mackie is just one of the countless rural business and property owners that have been stifled by the increased red tape and regulatory burden in Ontario.

Bob gets emotional at the thought of not being able to fulfill his commitments to the community, youth groups, high school students or the clients of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre (BIRC) who use the Mackie facility. Despite a depleted bank account from paying lawyers for legal battles Mackie continues to “fight the GOOD fight” to keep his business open.

Come on out and give BOB your SUPPORT!

Saturday July 24th 2010

starting at 1:00 p.m.

at Mackie’s Mountain Archery

3922 Zimmerman Road, Beamsville

Fleeing From MNR Conservation Officer Costs Man $1,000

MNR News Release – Angler fined $1000

A Raglan man has been fined $1,000 for not stopping when approached by a conservation officer.

Michael George pleaded guilty to failing to stop for a conservation officer when instructed to do so.

The court heard that on February 23, 2010, George was returning to shore on his snowmobile after fishing on Balsam Lake. At the shoreline a Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officer signalled to George to stop so the officer could inspect his catch. George fled from the area. He was later found and charged.

Justice of the Peace John MacDonald heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, in Lindsay, on July 13, 2010.

Conservation officers are authorized to stop and inspect anglers and hunters in order to ensure they are complying with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).