Bark of the Tree
In this Issue:
- Weak legislation introduced for Rouge National Urban Park
- Management Plan released - Voice your concerns at Public Consultations
- Community Events
- Note from our Summer Students
As we know, the ecological significance and public benefits of Rouge Park warrant the creation of a healthy and sustainable 100 km2 National Rouge Park.
Legislation Introduced for Rouge National Urban Park
It is commendable that Prime Minister Harper's government has announced plans to create a 53 km2 Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP).
NOT SAVED YET
Unfortunately, in June 2014, Prime Minister Harper's government introduced weak legislation and a draft management plan which would actually undermine existing Rouge Park, Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine and Great Lakes Water Quality Improvement Plans.
Ecological integrity is the first priority of park management, under Canada National Park's Act, Ontario's Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act and existing Rouge Park Management Plans. However, the draft RNUP legislation only requires that the Federal Minister of the Environment "take into consideration” the protection of natural systems in managing the park.
YOU CAN HELP TO CREATE A HEALTHY 100 KM2 NATIONAL ROUGE PARK BY:
Amendments to the RNUP legislation and Management Plan are needed to:
- Attending the upcoming RNUP public consultation meetings and asking that ecological integrity and watershed health be given top priority;
- Providing your valued feedback by completing our short survey;
- Emailing /writing to the Prime Minister, the Federal Environment Minister and your local MP to ask that ecological integrity and watershed health be given top priority in the RNUP legislation and management plan.
Troubling changes with respect to Canada's irreplaceable National Parks were highlighted in a recent report published by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
- Prioritize ecological integrity and watershed health;
- Incorporate and implement the ecological vision and policies of existing Rouge Park, Ontario Greenbelt & ORM Conservation Plans, and Great Lakes Water Quality Improvement Plans;
- Fully utilize conservation and watershed science to create an ecologically healthy and sustainable 100 km2 National Rouge Park;
- Respect First Nation rights and interests.
Prime Minister Harper's government is proposing a RNUP Management Plan which would actually undermine the Provincial Greenbelt Plan and Rouge Park "main ecological corridor" and the scientific targets established for protecting the Great Lakes, watershed health, the Park, and surrounding communities.
Public Consultation for Management Plan
Please participate in the upcoming RNUP meetings to voice your concerns:
September 9, 2014 - Markham
September 10, 2014 - Scarborough
September 16, 2014 - Pickering
September 18, 2014 - Downtown Toronto
The draft RNUP Management Plan fails to outline:
- a long-term ecological vision for the park which is consistent with the existing Rouge Park vision;
- ecological integrity objectives, indicators and restoration targets;
- the protection, connection and restoration of a natural habitat system for improved water quality, biological diversity, and habitat for rare and endangered species;
- how science, park management and monitoring tools will be used to achieve a level of public use which respects the park's ecological integrity and carrying capacity;
- the strategic steps necessary to transition from pesticide-dependent industrial agriculture to ecological sound farming on public lands within the park.
We've had volunteers coming out all summer long to help us with stewarding our restoration sites and public outreach events. Thank you!
Want to volunteer?
Follow us on Facebook
to stay up to date on opportunities! Or email Leigh@frw.ca
Important changes are happening in our beloved Rouge Watershed. FRW needs your help to continue to be a strong voice for nature.
Our work is not possible without you. Please help us to continue our work for healthy ecosystems, watersheds and communities by making a donation
today. Thank you!
FRW will be holding a public fundraiser with a photo contest, silent auction and prizes!
Join us for
Fall for the Rouge
Sat. Oct. 18 7pm @ the Olde Stone Cottage Pub
Tickets on sale in Sept. Email Leigh@frw.ca if you're interested in attending.