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Little brown bat © Chris Mathers

White Pines Wind Project Decision Harmful to Birds and Bats

Nature Canada, Ontario Nature and American Bird Conservancy are extremely disappointed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s decision last week to approve the White Pines Prince Edward County Wind Energy Project in an internationally designated Important Bird Area (IBA).

“There are so many things wrong about this decision and the only reasonable conclusion is – that it is bad for nature” said Ted Cheskey, Senior Conservation Manager at Nature Canada. “More populations of species at risk will be put at risk and more critical habitat will be destroyed. Nature Canada is not opposed to the Project as a whole, but several specific turbines should not have been approved. We are also at a loss to understand why the Ministry would approve this project without waiting for the decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal in the Ostrander case.”

“We are deeply concerned about the cumulative impacts of the projects proposed along the south shore of Prince Edward County, a significant migratory corridor for birds and bats, and habitat for species at risk like the Blanding’s Turtle.” said Joshua Wise, Ontario Nature’s Greenway Program Manager. “Their local population will struggle to survive the impacts of the proposed network of service roads required for this project. We are all for green energy, but not at the expense of nature.”

“These are not just Ontario’s birds” said Michael Hutchins, Director of the American Bird Conservancy’s Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign. “There is growing concern in the United States that the government of Ontario and Canada’s wind industry is failing to address the serious harm that poorly sited wind energy projects such as this one are causing or will cause to our already stressed shared bird and bat populations.”

Nature Canada is the oldest national nature organization in Canada with 45,000 members and supporters. Nature Canada’s mission is to protect and conserve Canada’s wildlife by working with people and advocating for nature. In partnership with Bird Studies Canada, Nature Canada is the Canadian partner of BirdLife International.

Ontario Nature protects Ontario’s wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Established in 1931, we are a charitable, membership-based conservation organization with over 150 member groups and 30,000 individual members and supporters.

Established in 1994, American Bird Conservancy is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement. ABC’s work has resulted in the establishment of 65 international bird reserves, with over 990,000 acres protected, and 3.5 million trees and shrubs planted to enhance bird habitat.